A reading from the gospel according to Mark 3:22-30:
22 The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”
23 Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan?
24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him.
27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house.
28 Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them.
29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”
30 For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Reflection: Sin Against the Holy Spirit
The scribes are supposed to be leaders who are familiar with the laws of Moses. Yet their knowledge of the laws made their ego bigger than anyone else such that they were blinded by it. They lived in darkness. Thus they cannot see and accept what is good in others. Obviously, they were the ones possessed by the evil spirit of jealousy and malice. They cannot accept the work of God through Jesus because He was not one of them. So when they witnessed Jesus casting out demons, they tried to diminish or discredit it by claiming that He Himself is possessed by Beelzebul. This is perhaps the highest insult that they hurled against His majesty.
Jesus patiently explained that a house divided against itself cannot stand. A kingdom will surely fall by the weight of infighting of its own officials. A family whose members are full of hatred against each other is a dysfunctional one. A corporation whose owners cannot agree with one another will later on be disintegrated, sold or dissolved.
Satan is powerful because it can deceive and blind the eyes of men like the scribes and the Pharisees. Yet Jesus is much more powerful and He can overmaster satan and drive him out of men. In so doing, He is showing that satan is the enemy and If we truly believe in Him, satan will have no power over us.
Yet if we deliberately close your eyes to which is clearly a work of the Holy Spirit and instead claim it as a work of the devil then we have committed an everlasting sin because we blasphemed against the same Holy Spirit. However, Jesus is merciful. If we truly repent and ask for forgiveness, He will embrace us.