Gospel: Mk 3:22-30
Meanwhile, the teachers of the law, who had come from Jerusalem, said, “He is in the power of Beelzebul: the chief of the demons helps him to drive out demons.“
Jesus called them to him, and began teaching them by means of stories, or parables. “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a nation is divided by civil war, that nation cannot stand. If a family divides itself into groups, that family will not survive. In the same way, if Satan has risen against himself and is divided, he will not stand; he is finished. No one can break into the house of a strong man in order to plunder his goods, unless he first ties up the strong man. Then indeed, he can plunder his house.
Truly, I say to you, every sin will be forgiven humankind, even insults to God, however numerous. But whoever slanders the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. He carries the guilt of his sin forever.“
This was their sin when they said, “He has an unclean spirit in him.“
“The unforgivable sin“
Since last week we have been reading from the letter to Hebrews that spoke of Jesus as the High Priest of the New Covenant. As priest of the New Covenant he offered a sacrifice, once for all, for the forgiveness of sins.
Yet our Gospel speaks today of the “unforgivable sin!“ What is this sin that is beyond the power of the sacrifice of Jesus? Jesus speaks of this sin as the “sin against the Holy Spirit.“ What is this sin?
It is the refusal to accept the forgiveness that Jesus offers! The teachers of the law in our Gospel today refused to acknowledge Jesus. They refused to accept the power of Jesus to forgive sins. They refused to accept Jesus as their Lord. Even the Lord cannot forgive us if we refuse his offer of forgiveness!
Though we may sin often, yet must we always have the humility and the courage to return to Jesus and beg for his forgiveness! May we never doubt the unfathomable mercy of God!