Ps 105:6-7, 8-9, 42-43
The Lord remembers his covenant forever.
28TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 4 / (Red)
St. Ignatius of Antioch, bishop & martyr
1st Reading: Rom 4:13, 16-18
If God promised Abraham, or rather his descendants, that the world would belong to him, this was not because of his obeying the law, but because he was just and a friend of God through faith.
For that reason, faith is the way and all is given by grace; and the promises of Abraham are fulfilled for all his descendants, not only for his children according to the Law, but also for all the others who have believed.
Abraham is the father of all of us, as it is written: I will make you father of many nations. He is our father in the eyes of Him who gives life to the dead, and calls into existence what does not yet exist, for this is the God in whom he believed.
Abraham believed and hoped against all expectation, thus becoming father of many nations, as he had been told: See how many will be your descendants.
Gospel: Lk 12:8-12
“I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before people, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But the one who denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.
There will be pardon for the one who criticizes the Son of Man, but there will be no pardon for the one who slanders the Holy Spirit.
When you are brought before the synagogues, governors and rulers, don’t worry about how you will defend yourself or what to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you have to say.”
Isn’t the Gospel of today a fine lesson about the Holy Spirit?
In fact, what gives us the strength to confess Jesus, the Son of Man, before people? Let us be reminded with the last sentence of the text that Jesus promised the assistance of the Holy Spirit when Christians come before tribunals. Their irresistible inspiration will be the Holy Spirit. That is why the early faithful kept the “acts” of Martyrs, i.e. the minutes of their trials. Their answers are full of supernatural wisdom. This is the case of the letters of St Ignatius of Antioch, disciple of Apostles, and one of the famous early Martyrs.
Jesus promised similar witness in front of his Father and the angels of heaven.
But there is more. Why are the critiques against Jesus pardonable but the slanders against the Holy Spirit unpardonable? We can guess that perhaps the blasphemies against Jesus are due to his humanity; but if we refuse the grace of the Holy Spirit that leads us to faith, there is no salvation for us.
In any case, let us carefully listen and obediently follow the inner voice of the Spirit at every moment.
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