My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Dear Friends
Today, we finish the meditations based on the THIRD Mystery of our Faith – that ‘There is One God in The Most Holy Trinity: The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit’. We finish with the thought based on theme: Sins against the Holy Spirit.
Concluding the reflection on the mystery of the Holy Spirit, I want to focus on one of the most difficult texts of the New Testament, on the utterance of the Lord Jesus, recorded by Saint Matthew: ‘And so I tell you, every human sin and blasphemy will be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And anyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but no one who speaks against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven either in this world or in the next.’(Mt 12, 31-32) Jesus means this is the most serious sin. I would like to indicate in what sense one should understand these words of Christ.
The Holy Spirit is Love, and love is the essence of God’s life. I will use a comparison. Oxygen is needed for our life. If it runs out, certain death awaits us in a few minutes. This is in the perspective of temporal life. In contrast, in the perspective of supernatural life, this ‘Oxygen’ is the Holy Spirit, and if a man runs out of it, death is also waiting for him. If an ill person who needs to be connected to an oxygen device strongly refuses to receive it, he decides to die at this point. The doctor treating him may have oxygen at his disposal, but if the patient does not want to use it, he must die. Through this picture we can understand these difficult words of Jesus. He stands beside the man as a Doctor, having ‘oxygen’ in His hand, that is, bringing him the Holy Spirit. The patient may incorrectly refer to the Doctor, i.e. he may fling money at the Son of Man, but as long as he breathes, that is, he draws power from the Holy Spirit, he lives. But if he refuses the oxygen, he dies.
Taking this into account, we believe that thanks to Christ’s prayer: ‘Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.’ (Luke 23, 34) Those who hammered the nail into His hands, who whip him, who pierced His side, can be saved. But if someone has rejected the grace of conversion, or the grace of the Holy Spirit, God himself is facing him. For God cannot, against the free will of the man which He himself gave him, give him the ‘oxygen’ of life, because in this He would violate his freedom. God respects freedom, but He always offers the grace of conversion. However, if man rejects this grace of God, then we are dealing with a sin against the Holy Spirit.
I have focused on this because many people are based on old catechisms, they often misunderstand the message of Christ and say that God does not want a man to let go of certain sins. Not true! God wants us to let go of all of our sins: ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’ (Is 1, 18) He, however, becomes helpless in the attitude of a man who stubbornly rejects His grace. If someone wants to drown, we can save him seven times, and he will drown anyway – he wants to. God wants him to reach out and he will be saved. But if he stubbornly chooses death, God is helpless to rescue him. It is this pushing away the grace of salvation that is a sin against the Holy Spirit.
By taking part in the Sacrifice of Christ, let us remember in a special way the sinners who choose to live apart from God. Let us ask that they will never give up the grace of conversion. If they take advantage of this opportunity even in the last minute of their life – like the thief hanging next to Christ on the cross – their happiness can be eternal happiness. Let us also pray that we will be able to cooperate with the Holy Spirit both in shaping our own heart and in helping others who wander together and in the direction of the house of Heavenly Father.
Next week, we start to look at the FOURTH Mystery of our Faith – ‘Son of God became the Man and died on the cross for our salvation’. You are very welcome to join our meditations and share with others, especially with the children and youth.
With love and prayers and asking for yours, Fr. Marcin