Grace to you!
It is common knowledge that the doctor-patient relationship is, for the most part, dependent on the level of trust the patient has for the doctor. Suppose the doctor is one of the best internists in the world, the patient who has no confidence in that doctor hardly would seek his or her help.
If a patient rejects the doctor's authority and proven track record, how could the doctor help that patient? It will be impossible for a doctor to do much for a patient who has no faith in their medical expertise. It's worse if the patient sees the doctor's practice as dangerous to their health.
The above analogy could be used to explain what the Lord Jesus Christ says in the Gospel of Mark 3: 28. It concerns the sin against the Holy Spirit. The Lord had done many miracles. However, some who saw the wonders rejected the evidence. They said that it was through Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that Jesus cast out devils. By so doing, they willfully dismissed the testimony of God and the work of God. I believe it was this willful rejection and attitude the Lord calls "the sin against the Holy Spirit."
It is a sin that arises from willful and, often, malicious refusal to accept what God has done. Or to willfully attribute to Satan the signs and wonders, good works, of Christ. The Lord condemns it. "Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” (Mk 3:28-29).
These are strong words from the compassionate Lord. Consider this: If a patient doesn't believe in the proven track record and evidence of a doctor, how could that doctor facilitate the patient's healing? Experience tells us that the patient won't even seek help from that doctor.
If someone rejects the work of Christ, how would the work of Christ affect his or her life? The impossibility of forgiving such a person isn't because God is mean and not merciful. We know that as 1 Tim 2:4 says, "God wants all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth." God's loving-kindness endures forever (Ps 136:1). The Lord doesn't reject a repentant heart (Ps 51:17).
Nevertheless, we have to seek the face of God. We have to accept what he does for us to receive the graces from that work of God. As Saint Augustine said, "The God who created you without you cannot save you without you."
Hence, what makes the sin against the Holy Spirit impossible to forgive is the person, the heart who has locked God out for that forgiveness to take place. It is the subjective state of an individual who has stubbornly rejected the Work of God, labeling it evil. It is also the refusal to see and acknowledge that God is working and is ready to save.
God isn't shutting anyone out. People shut themselves out of Divine Mercy. As the saying goes, you can take a horse to the stream, but you cannot force the horse to drink. Willful rejection of healing and forgiveness is never God's fault. It is the choice of the individual.
I pray we see the work of God and acknowledge it when we see it. Amen. It saves to do so.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday Week 3 Ordinary Time: 2 Sam 5:1-7, 10; Mk 3:22-30]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.