Today the Gospel asks us what we want to do with the Holy Spirit ...
Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”
Everything can be forgiven us except not letting ourselves be loved. The Holy Spirit is Love, and we cannot blaspheme Love. In fact, it is Love that saves us. Whoever feels loved experiences what heaven is, but we despise Love, we condemn ourselves to experience its opposite: the absence of Love, or hell.
We hardly ever think that we’re so free that we can make a difference. Today the Gospel asks us what we want to do with the Holy Spirit, what we want to do with God’s Love. If we let ourselves be loved, this same Love will instruct us in everything. It will itself lead us in the right direction:
“When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”
This is the great teaching of St. Teresa of Avila, who taught a type of prayer that has nothing to do with the mere repetition of words. Instead, it’s about consolidating the relationship with this Love that has been revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ. For her, praying was not simply saying things, but addressing Someone.
If in prayer we lose sight of “Who” is in front of us, then it becomes just a psychological palliative, just another way to put ourselves and our problems at the center. Instead, praying means ceasing to look at ourselves and starting to look at Someone who, just by the fact that He is there and exists, makes the essence of our whole life change.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.