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Monday, January 27, 1997

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St. Angela Merici

Hebrews 9:15, 24-28
Psalm 98
Mark 3:22-30

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the border of blasphemy

"Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. He carries the guilt of his sin without end." —Mark 3:29

The scribes claimed that Jesus was possessed by a devil (Mk 3:30). This statement seems to be blasphemy against Jesus, but Jesus calls it blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Mk 3:29). Blaspheming Jesus is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit bears witness on behalf of Jesus (Jn 15:26; 1 Jn 5:5-6; Rv 19:10). Therefore, if someone says Jesus is not Lord and God, they are saying the Holy Spirit, Who witnesses that Jesus is Lord and God (see 1 Cor 12:3), is not telling the truth and therefore isn't God either.

To avoid blaspheming against the Holy Spirit, we must do more than keep our mouths shut. In a world where millions deny Jesus' lordship and divinity, we "must bear witness as well" on behalf of Jesus (Jn 15:27). Otherwise, our silence will be deafening. By giving Jesus the "silent treatment," we become anti- witnesses and are in league with the blasphemers, if not blasphemers ourselves. If we let Him, the Holy Spirit will teach us on the spot how to witness for Jesus (Lk 12:12). If we refuse to learn, however, we border on blasphemy. Acknowledge Jesus before men and women (Lk 12:8). Publicly and vocally confess Jesus as Lord (Rm 10:9). Be with the Holy Spirit and not against Him.

Prayer:  Father, may I speak out of the abundance of a purified heart (Lk 6:45).

Promise:  "He will appear a second time not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him." —Heb 9:28

Praise:  Angela was a pioneer in activating lay people to serve Jesus while living in the world. She taught, "Disorder in society is the result of disorder in the family."

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Forgiveness and Evangelization.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, June 20, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 1996