AD SENSE

28th Week, Saturday, Oct 17

Ephesians 1:15-23 / Luke 12:8-12

Paul prays for Christians: May God enlighten your innermost vision.

An old Dakota cowboy told a newsman, “It’s going to be a fine day. If geese were flying closer together, we’d have bad weather.” The cowboy went on to say that he could predict weather better than electronic equipment. “You must use your eyes and look at God’s radar. Furry calves mean early winter; hairy caterpillars signal hard winter; gophers nestling in prairie grass mean rain.” Then the old cowboy paused and mused, “Sometimes, I think we don’t see anymore.” This can also be said about modern Christians when it comes to their spiritual vision. It’s the grace Paul prays that the Ephesians will receive.

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How clear is our own spiritual vision? “Nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see. On the contrary, everything is sacred.” Teilhard de Chardin

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The term blasphemy may be generally defined as anything from defiant irreverence to intentional sacrilegious acts. Hence it can mean acts like cursing God or wilfully degrading things relating to God. It can also be attributing some evil to God, or denying Him some good that should be attributed to Him. Yet we believe that God is love and forgiveness and He will forgive us even if we had committed the most heinous sin. So what did Jesus mean when He said that "he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven"?

The purpose of this phrase was to strengthen the disciples in the face of persecution and to deter them from falling into apostasy (giving up the faith) out of cowardice or doubt. It was also meant as an admonition - a sin can only be unforgivable if repentance is impossible. So in other words, it is not whether God will forgive; it is a question of whether we want to repent or not.

Because along with repentance is also the trust in God's love and mercy and forgiveness. To be able to declare that is to stand before others and witness to God and all that He has done for us.

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All parts of the readings today call upon us to contemplate our relationship with Christ and His power for those who believe. The Gospel today is as relevant as it was 2,000 years ago.

In it, we have Jesus going up to Jerusalem, where, as we all know, is crucified for our sins and ultimately triumphs over death.

Like the disciples, we today have a choice to make. At this point in the Gospel, the disciples do not know what awaits them in Jerusalem. The same can be said of us in our daily lives today.

They are assured that through faith in Him, the Holy Spirit can be drawn upon for wisdom and knowledge. I ask myself the question, have I made the final complete commitment to Christ?

Am I ready for the trials? In our current times we have our own “rulers and authorities” that will test my faith. In my own experience I find those who are the biggest challenge to my faith are often friends, family, and neighbors. So, I try to go about living my faith without embarrassment as a disciple of Christ. Hopefully I am a good witness to his truth. I’m guaranteed “the Holy Spirit” will teach if I’m open and discerning. 

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." — St. Thomas Aquinas

Let us pray: God our steadfast hope, St. Ignatius of Antioch knew that in his martyrdom he identified with your Son, Jesus.  Like Jesus, he was planted as a grain of wheat in the furrows of the earth.  Let them grow from his death an abundant harvest of a new humanity.  Give your people strength to follow him so that our love and deep faith may bring life and joy to many.  We ask this through Christ, our Lord.