Sunday, January 22, 2006



JANUARY 23, 2006

2 SAMUEL 5:1-7, 10
All the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said: "Here we
are, your bone and your flesh. In days past, when Saul was our king,
it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back. And the
LORD said to you, 'You shall shepherd my people Israel and shall be
commander of Israel.'" When all the elders of Israel came to David
in Hebron, King David made an agreement with them there before the
LORD, and they anointed him king of Israel. David was thirty years
old when he became king, and he reigned for forty years: seven years
and six months in Hebron over Judah, and thirty-three years in
Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah. Then the king and his men set
out for Jerusalem against the Jebusites who inhabited the region.
David was told, "You cannot enter here: the blind and the lame will
drive you away!" which was their way of saying, "David cannot enter
here." But David did take the stronghold of Zion, which is the City
of David. David grew steadily more powerful, for the LORD of hosts
was with him.

MARK 3:22-30
And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, "He
is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out
demons." So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: "How
can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself,
that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself,
that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is
divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can
enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he
first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. I tell you
the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven
them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be
forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." He said this because they
were saying, "He has an evil spirit."

Probably all of us have experienced the pain of being misunderstood.
Especially when we do something with good intentions and people
maliciously say that we only want to be praised or look better than
others. Such experiences can be crushing. It was already painful
for Jesus when his relatives feared for his sanity. But it must
have been a devastating experience when the scribes accused him of
using Satan's power to work his miracles. He who was the Son of
God, they called an agent of Satan. He who was the incarnate love
of God, they called the incarnate power of Satan.

We might hear this gospel reading and conclude that we would never
act as the scribes did. Are we really so sure? Name-calling or
offensive labeling of people was common in the time of Jesus and is
still prevalent today.

In trying to understand why some people seem to have the need to
offend others through labels, which are hurting, perhaps we should
check to see if we have pinned such labels on others.

Do we belittle the good deeds of those whom we dislike and assign
them hurting names and questionable motives for their actions? Are
we quick to criticize those whom we presume are threats to our own
status? If we do such things and ignore the promptings of
compassion and forgiveness that come from the Holy Spirit, we are
destroying the bonds of unity that should exist among us.

When the scribes call Jesus names, he remains calm. He goes into a
logical discourse proving the stupidity of such accusations. And
then he mentions the sin against the Holy Spirit, which cannot be
forgiven. Why can even God not forgive this sin? Is not God
almighty, compassionate and merciful? God is all this and more.
But God cannot go against the unwillingness or even the resistance
of a person who refuses to accept the presence of his power in his
life and does not welcome God's liberating action.

God cannot and will not force anybody against his will into his
love. God is not unwilling to forgive. But since he gave us
freedom, he respects this freedom even when it is used to shut out
God from our lives. The sin against the Holy Spirit is resistance
to God's Spirit who enables us to recognize God's presence and work
in our lives. And where there is such resistance, there good begins
to appear as evil and vice versa. There is therefore no admission
of fault, there is no repentance. The person has shut himself out
from God's loving act of forgiveness. If we are not careful, we can
easily grow into such an attitude. The sin against the Holy Spirit
just lurks around the corner to hinder us on our journey towards the
Father's house.

"Lord Jesus, you are my hope and salvation. Be the ruler of my heart
and the master of my home. May there be nothing in my life that is
not under your lordship."

We pray -
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- Thanksgiving and personal intentions of Baby Jane Figuerres.
- for the peace and unity of Charles & Cheryl C.
- for the speedy recovery of Joaquin.
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Washington Morillo. Eternal
rest grant unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he
and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for the speedy recovery and well-being of Jim and his wife, Alice.
- for Eddie G. to feel God's love and live for God according to his
- for the intentions of the new couple Pravin and Tessie.
- for the speedy recovery of Fr. Carmelo Cortez.
- Wedding Anniversary: Jose Ruel Diaz & Ma. Teresa Gutierrez Diaz
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Wedding Anniversary: Luis & Susan Lim
- In Memoriam (+): Yu Cheng Kho (1916-1993)
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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