In our Gospel today, we hear Jesus talk about an unforgivable sin, defined as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Many have speculated on what this could possibly mean and I recently read an explanation from Pope St. John Paul II that I found particularly meaningful. He said:
“[B]lasphemy” does not properly consist in offending against the Holy Spirit in words; it consists rather in the refusal to accept the salvation which God offers to man through the Holy Spirit… [T]he blasphemy against the Holy Spirit consists precisely in the radical refusal to accept this forgiveness, of which he is the intimate giver and which presupposes the genuine conversion which he brings about in the conscience. If Jesus says that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven either in this life or in the next, it is because this “non-forgiveness” is linked, as to its cause, to “non- repentance,” in other words to the radical refusal to be converted. …Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, then, is the sin committed by the person who claims to have a “right” to persist in evil in any sin at all and who thus rejects Redemption. One closes oneself up in sin, thus making impossible one’s conversion, and consequently the remission of sins, which one considers not essential or not important for one’s life… This is what Sacred Scripture usually calls “hardness of heart.” In our own time this attitude of mind and heart is perhaps reflected in the loss of the sense of sin… Pope Pius XII had already declared that “the sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin,” and this loss goes hand in hand with the “loss of the sense of God.”(John Paul II, Dominum et Vivificantem, 46; CCC 1864)
I think this is a great reminded to us all that we need to be people of forgiveness and love. God’s grace is not limited to the few but, as the Roman Canon says, the many. If God can forgive us, we must see how He can forgive others.
Also, I would like to congratulate the graduates of our school. They graduated on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus this past Friday and we are all very proud of them. Each one of them is an example of the value of Catholic Education and we should all be proud to have a school that helps form these young people. We pray for them and wish them well in whatever they wish to do in life after 8th grade. May they carry their faith wherever they go.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate the four new priests we have in the Diocese of Trenton who were ordained last Saturday. Please pray for them as they begin long and fruitful ministries serving the Lord.