Feast of St. Teresa of Avila
Romans 4:13, 16-18
What is the role of faith in your life? Does your life, by its words and actions acknowledge Jesus? Or do your words and actions disown the Lord? How you answer the question is of the upmost importance because of the consequences. Jesus in this passage reminds us that he is our ultimate judge. He will either judge us worthy or unworthy before the angels in heaven. Jesus says that all sins can be forgiven. This of course is consoling, but then comes the caveat. The sin against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. This sin must be a final rejection of the last grace offered us, the ultimate refusal of love and deafness to the voice that invites us to come to Him and find rest for our souls. The possibility of this "sin against the Holy Spirit" is the mystery of human freedom. In Matthew 12:31 and Mark 3:28-29 we find this saying immediately after the scribes and Pharisees ascribe the healings of Jesus to the prince of devils instead of God. A refusal to see what is right before their eyes!
Paul points to Abraham as the first believer. He is the one whose faith in God’s word made him righteous. Abraham showed the depth of his faith by his unwavering hope in God’s promises and his obedience to all that God asked of him. Can we, who contemplate the cross of Jesus who held nothing back out of love for us, be any less faithful?
Fr. Michael Hoolahan, C.P. is on the staff of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.