Scripture: Lectionary 317. Hebrews 9:15.24-28. Psalm 98:1.2-3.3-4.5-6. Mark

Today's Readings

Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" He did not wait for answer nor did
Jesus give him one. From what we learn about truth in the Hebrew
Scriptures and then in the New Testament is that is described more in
metaphorical language than in philosophical or even in a religious idiom.
Jesus, however, in one of his "I AM" statements declares that he as a
Person united to God and to us is Truth, the Way, and the Life (John14:6).

In Mark we see Jesus confronting the demons and driving them away from
persons who are in need of release from the grasp of the spirits of the
lie. He is opposed to anything that is false, deceptive, and out and out
lying as the demons are capable of doing. We learn this already in the
first pages of the Bible where the serpent deceives our first parents
through one another as well as a direct deception of Eve. We therefore
should not be alarmed that he rejects and confronts those who are saying he
has been possessed by the prince of demons. Truth over against Lies; Truth
personified in Jesus; lies in the Devil.

Jesus dialogues with those who confront him as a possessed person--even his
own relatives may have thought this in saying, "he is out of his mind."
His reasoning is balanced and logical as he reminds those who are opposing
him by telling them they are blaspheming the Holy Spirit when they say he
is possessed.

We hear of the unforgiveable sin against the Holy Spirit and struggle with
what that means. "
Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven." The
scholar C.C.Black comments,"To link the Holy Spirit of the Spirit's agent
with demons is to be guilty of an unforgiveable sin (cf.I John 5:16). In
the New Jerusalem Bible a footnote on this verse has it this way: "To
attribute to the Evil One what is in fact the work of the Holy Spirit
amounts to shutting oneself off from divine grace and the forgiveness that
flows from it. In its very nature such an attitude makes salvation
impossible. But grace can change this attitude, so that a return to
salvation remains possible." We are never abandoned by God even though we
may be led to deny God or to sin against the Holy Spirit. Amen.