Saturday of the Twenty-EighthWeek in Ordinary Time
The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit
I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. “Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.” Lk 12,8-12
Today we try to understand these words which Pope John Paul II called “words of the non-forgiveness”: ” Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven”. Why the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unpardonable, while it is the one against Jesus Christ? What is the meaning of this blasphemy? What does the theology say in this regard? The answer was given by st. Tomas d’Aquino in the Summa Teologica, where he states that the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is “not-forgiven” because it excludes the elements through which we can obtain the forgiveness from the sins. Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem (1986) explains what are these elements. The blasphemy, the encyclical says, is not to utter words of offense against the Holy Spirit, but “the refusal to accept the salvation which God offers to the man through the Holy Spirit”, operating under the sacrifice of the cross. If the man refuses to recognize his own sin, at the same time he rejects the Holy Spirit, which has the task of proving the guiltiness of the world “in regard to sin” (Jn 16,8) and he rejects the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. In other words, the salvation is a gift which, as such, requires only to be accepted. Therefore the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the encyclical explains further, consists in the fact that the man “claims to have his own right to persist in the evil”. The today gospel calls for a meditation on the plan of salvation which begins with the call of Abraham and with the consequent one of the people of Israel. It is subsequently put into practice with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and it reaches us through the Holy Spirit, which asks only to accept this infinite gift of God, acknowledging, in the reality of our sin, the need to be saved. This is the New Alliance which is achieved into us.