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Faith Daily | 24 January 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 530

O God,

the strength of all those who put their trust in you:

mercifully accept our prayers,

and because through the weakness of our mortal nature

we can do nothing good without you,

grant us the help of your grace,

that in keeping your commandments

we may please you both in will and deed;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 3: 22-30

22And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, ‘He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.’ 23And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? 24If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

28 ‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’— 30for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Rev’d Josie

I have always wondered about this unforgiveable sin. Honestly, I’m glad I didn’t read this verse when I was a child, because I can guarantee it would have kept me up at night. How does this even work? Didn’t Jesus teach us that ANYONE could be forgiven ANYTHING? And these scribes… they haven’t even done anything, really. How can words be unforgivable?

I think we need to look at the context in which these words are said. It’s not the words that are the problem, but the upending and swapping the meaning of good and evil. This is the blasphemy, the great sin – subverting what is evil and pretending it is good. Forgiveness is always found for those who ask, but if you are so convinced you are right that hurting others seems like a small price to pay, why would you even ask?

It’s why I always leave room for doubt. For love. For light. If there is room for Jesus unfathomable acceptance, let’s let him in. I would rather be accused of erring in love than in exclusion.

As long as there is love, there is no fear. Not of the darkness, and not of blasphemy. I pray we will never have reason to fear.

FINAL PRAYER: from Carol King and think of Jesus

When you're down and troubled

And you need some loving care

And nothing, nothing is going right

Close your eyes and think of me

And soon I will be there

To brighten up even your darkest night


You just call out my name

And you know wherever I am

I'll come running

To see you again

Winter, spring, summer or fall

All you have to do is call

And I'll be there

You've got a friend

[Verse 2]

If the sky above you

Grows dark and full of clouds

And that old North wind begins to blow

Keep your head together

And call my name out loud

Soon you'll hear me knocking at your door.

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