Reflection for Saturday, October 15, 2022: 28th Week of Ordinary Time.

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Scholer, Steve
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|The charge of blasphemy is very serious.|As the Gospel states, blasphemy is a sin that cannot be forgiven; and, in this case, justifiably so. Scholars and commentators have framed today's Gospel as retold in Matthew 12:22–32, in this way:|The Pharisees, having witnessed firsthand Jesus casting out the demon and restoring sight and speech to the possessed man, refused to accept his power and that he, indeed, is the Messiah. The assembled crowd is moved by the event, and the Pharisees see their power over the masses waning. To quash this growing support for Jesus as the Messiah, they say, "It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons". This attack on the power of the Holy Spirit within Jesus leads him to say, "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."|One might say that we are fortunate today that unless we are standing in the presence of Jesus performing a miracle, we could never make the fatal mistake of the Pharisees. But one might contend that Jesus is in our presence daily, performing miracles we witness, perform, or benefit from. And if we follow that line of reasoning, the question becomes, how do we respond to them? Are we like the Pharisees, who deny the presence of the Holy Spirit?|A friend of mine recently returned from a week in Spain, which included a trip to visit the Cave of Saint Ignatius. He encountered some travel delays and arrived at the gate to the cave at 1:15 p.m. There, prominently posted, was a sign that said the cave was closed to visitors at 1:00 p.m. He was crushed. But he pushed against the gate and found it was not locked, and he was able to enter and spend half an hour inside, in meditation. When he left, he chuckled to himself and thought, "fortune favors the bold." But upon further reflection, he began to wonder if there was something much larger than fortune at work here. Was the unlocked gate one of life's daily miracles?|As we go about our daily lives, we, too, need to pause and take the time to realize the power of the Holy Spirit and the miracles we benefit from, albeit by giving, receiving, or witnessing. Are the seemingly meaningless random acts of kindness we perform, in reality, a miracle to the person we help? Do we recognize the Holy Spirit at work when we are the beneficiary of these acts? Or are we too reluctant to attribute miracles in our lives, both big and small, to the Holy Spirit? |Let's not turn a blind eye to the workings of the Holy Spirit, but rather, see its work as urging us to continue to trust in Jesus and to practice our faith in thought, word, and deed, for there is no coming back from the Road to Perdition.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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