Saturday, October 20, 2012

Be Enlightened

Be Enlightened

October 20, 2012
Saturday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

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

"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


God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.  Amen.  --Reinhold Niebuhr


May the eyes of our hearts be enlightened.  May we listen with the ears of our hearts.  Sacred texts and holy books are filled with inspiring writing.  Yet connected to the lofty praise and prayer in today's reading is perhaps one of the most serious condemnations uttered by Jesus. 
Even as he knows the fate of the cross that his future holds, Jesus offers compassionate forgiveness for any act and any word spoken against him.  However, Jesus adds an important clause to that forgiveness. "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. 
The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, "If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing." (NAB) This verse, and many others that speak of God's forgiveness, seem to be in contrast with Luke 12:10-12 and this concept of an unforgivable sin. So what constitutes blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the eternal sin that can never be forgiven?
Could it be that rejection of Jesus' gift to us is rejection of the Holy Spirit?  Jesus, through his life, death and resurrection ransomed for us eternal life.  Our lives of piety, study and action are intended for us to imitate that life and obtain what it promises.  However, what if we reject Christ's offer of salvation, His free gift of eternal life, and thus, His forgiveness from sin. If we do not accept His gift, we cannot be forgiven. If we refuse to open the door of our heart to the Holy Spirit's so that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ, then Jesus has no place to work in our lives.  We cannot be forgiven if we do not want to be forgiven.


When there is a baptism, we meditate upon and repeat our baptismal vows.  We reject Satan and all his works and all his empty promises. 
Think of these empty promises and the fulfillment of the promises of Christ as the alternative.
What empty promises are likely to tempt you today?  Reject them and accept the gift of wisdom from the Holy Spirit that allows you to tell the difference.  May the ear of your heart be enlightened so that the eye of your heart allows you to see the way to walk with the Lord.

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