GOSPEL MESSAGE & RECORDING
A quick summary of what happened in this Gospel is that the Pharisees accuse Jesus of casting out demons through the power of demons, and Jesus responds with two answers. The first answer shows the error of the Pharisee’s logic, but I want to focus on His second answer; that answer is from verses 28-30. “‘Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation’— because they said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’” What stands out the most from this small passage is the fact that people typically misquote this section and say that, “if you blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, He (or God) will never forgive you.” Yet that is not what is said, verse 28 states that all sins and blasphemies will be forgiven, so why does it mention that we will never have forgiveness? To answer this question, we have to remember that Christ is giving a response to the Pharisees who state that Christ is casting out demons as the greatest of demons. What did the Pharisees say, or what is the underlying meaning of their blaspheme? The Pharisees are looking at God, watching God perform a miracle, and finally state that it was not God who did this miracle or they would state that God was not present in this miracle. The sin which the Pharisees did was turning away from God and ignoring His presence. A person is able to cry out for forgiveness as much as they wish to do, but if that person denies God and turns their back towards God, then they cannot receive forgiveness until and unless they turn around. With this said, how have we approached the Holy Eucharist. Do we gaze upon the Altar and say we are going to receive merely a morsel of bread and wine? Do we question whether or not this bread and wine is the actual Body and Blood of our Lord? For those who say that it is the Body and Blood of our Lord, do we approach this Holy Mystery in a manner befitting God? For St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:29, “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” The worst thing to do is receiving the Eucharist as mere food for the body and denying the fact that the Chalice holds His Blood and the Paten holds His Body. In this denial, we may act as if all is normal but in reality, we have turned our backs towards God. But to reiterate the words of St. John in his first epistle, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” My dear brothers and sisters, may we all be made worthy to look upon this Holy Eucharist which is offered for the remission of debts and the forgiveness of sins and to partake in the life that is promised rather than the judgement which is held for those who deny His Body.