Friday, October 15, 2010


October 16, 2010
Saturday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way. Ephesians 1:22-23

“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.” Luke 12:10-12

May the eyes of (your) hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:18-21

Three complementary views of the persons in the Trinity emerge from today’s readings which contrast Jesus and the Father and then Jesus and the Spirit.

St. Paul portrays Jesus as the CEO of the Church in the world in his letter to the Ephesians. God placed Jesus on earth over all things which were, in turn, placed at his feet. Yet even though they have dominion over similar localities, Jesus as head or ruler is different from and greater than the temporal rulers and authorities who are referenced in the Gospel. No matter what people say about Jesus, they will be forgiven. When the disciples are brought before rulers and authorities, Jesus will not be by their side like a defense lawyer or advocate. Instead, he says not to worry about a defense because the Holy Spirit that he will send will provide it. The disciples do not know it at the time, but this defense strategy will be played out when Jesus stands before Herod and Pilate.

Offenses against Jesus – like betrayal, scourging, whipping, crucifying and killing – are pardoned or pardonable. “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” However, anyone who offends the Holy Spirit will not be so lucky. Such blasphemies will not be forgiven. Here, Jesus draws a warning line in the sand. So, if we expect the Spirit to be the source of courage when we face persecutions and prosecutions, then we better keep the Spirit on our side.

God the Father is more removed from our day-to-day lives in one sense. Yet in another, the Father is the source of all good things that come to us through the Son and the Spirit. The Father is the glue that binds the Trinity together.

God is the Gift Giver, granting a “spirit of wisdom and revelation” which will help our study get to know God.

God’s gifts also are the wellspring of our piety. Gifts from God enlighten the eyes of our hearts” and reveal hope, riches, and our inheritance – Jesus.

God’s action inspires our action in His name. He worked through Christ and then raised his only Son from the dead. Jesus then moved from the head of the Church on earth to co-ruler of all creation seated at God’s right hand in the heavens.

What are you doing with God’s gifts this weekend? How can you celebrate in this wonderful autumn light the “fullness of the one who fills all things in every way?”

The newsletter from the Arlington Peace and Justice Commission asks us to reflect on all that is happening in this Respect Life Month, a month that emerged after the latest execution in the state of Virginia of Teresa Lewis. In the wake of this latest use of capital punishment, the Commission commented, “As a church we have a long way to go to share our awareness of the sacredness and dignity of ALL human life.”

Where are you challenged by the Church’s teachings on the consistent ethic of life in which all things are placed at the feet of Jesus, not the rulers of principalities and earthly authorities?