Monday, January 22, 2018
Third Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr – Optional Memorial
(Celebrated January 23 in the USA)
“Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” Mark 3:28-29
Now this is a frightening thought. Normally when speaking of sin we quickly focus in on the mercy of God and His abundant desire to forgive. But in this passage we have something that could at first appear quite contrary to the mercy of God. Is it true that some sins will not be forgiven by God? The answer is yes and no.
This passage reveals to us that there is a particular sin, the sin against the Holy Spirit, that will not be forgiven. What is this sin? Why would it not be forgiven? Traditionally, this sin has been seen as a sin of final impenitence, or presumption. It’s the situation where someone sins gravely and then either fails to have any sorrow for that sin or simply presumes on God’s mercy without truly repenting. Either way, this lack of sorrow closes the door to God’s mercy.
Of course it must also be said that whenever a person’s heart is changed, and he/she grows in sincere sorrow for sin, God is there to immediately welcome that person back with open arms. God would never turn away from someone who humbly returns to Him with a contrite heart.
Reflect, today, upon the abundant mercy of God, but also reflect upon your own duty to foster true sorrow for sin. Do your part and you will be assured that God will lavish His mercy and forgiveness upon you. There is no sin too great when we have hearts that are humble and contrite.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner. I do acknowledge my sin and I am sorry for it. Help me, dear Lord, to continually foster within my heart a greater sorrow for sin and a deeper trust in Your divine mercy. I thank You for Your perfect and unfailing love for me and for all. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saints for Today – Saint Vincent (Celebrated January 23 in the USA)