January 28, 2019

Gospel MK 3:22-30
The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus,
“He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and
“By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”
Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
“How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided,
he cannot stand;
that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property
unless he first ties up the strong man.
Then he can plunder his house.
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.”
For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Reflection:
The scribes who had “come from Jerusalem” were people of tremendous influence. Educated in the ways of God, they were accustomed to having great authority over the people. They saw Jesus’ message of God’s unconditional love and His ability to perform miracles as a threat to their control.
Having seen Him expel demons, they attempted to discredit Him by accusing Him of being in league with the Devil.
Jesus quickly defused their accusation:
“How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided,
he cannot stand;
that is the end of him.”
However, Jesus could not ignore the seriousness of the charge made by the scribes that His power to drive out demons did not come from God, but was a result of His conspiring with Beelzebub (the Devil).
Clearly, there is no greater insult to God than to give credit to the Devil for a good deed done by God through the power and love of His Holy Spirit.
In saying that Jesus…..“has an unclean spirit”…the scribes were blaspheming, speaking irreverently about God and slandering His Holy Spirit.
Therefore, Jesus told the scribes,
“But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will never have forgiveness,
but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”
 
“For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul.” Mark 8:36