Genesis 3:9-15 / 2 Cor 4:13 – 5:1 / Mark 3:20-35
What is the hottest news in this hot and humid weather? The most obvious thing to say is that it is only going to get hotter and hotter.
And to add on to this heat is this super-hot summit between the leaders of the US and North Korea next week. And that is already making things hot under the collar for everyone, with road-blocks and checks and super-tight security measures.
There ae many reasons why Singapore is chosen as the venue for this summit. But maybe the heat might help to melt the icy tension and bring some warmth to the summit and some hope for a more peaceful world.
Well, there were some uncertainties and obstacles but things are moving and we pray it will move in the right and good direction.
But only until recently, it was thought that a meeting of this level was not that possible, if not impossible. There was even talk of the summit being called off.
So this is something really momentous, and we in Singapore are really privileged to host this, to witness this and more importantly to pray for a blessed outcome.
So to say that things won’t change and that things can’t change is a fallacy of sort, an untruth. It is like saying that God has no control over the events of the world and the events of life.
It is easier to say that it is impossible than to think that things can and will change for the better.
Like Adam and Eve in the 1st reading, we would rather hide from God, than to come out and face the truth and be free.
Today’s readings brings up the point of the sinfulness present in our world. It also brings us the presence of the devil who wants to freeze up the truth and make us hide with his lies.
If there is anything that can’t change, it is the devil and his gang. The devil is the father of sin and the father of lies. He is death, absolute death, and he wants nothing less than our death.
The death that he is looking for is the death of goodness, that we don’t see the good in anything and that even what is good is seen as bad and evil.
And we see this happening in the gospel. Jesus casted out devils, but instead of recognizing the power of God in Him, the scribes can say ridiculous things like it was through the devil that Jesus casts out devils.
We may think that what the scribes said was ridiculous. But Jesus would call that blasphemous.
Because to see goodness and yet call it evil is not just a grave sin but a blasphemy. Because it is actually speaking against the Holy Spirit who is the source of all good.
Only the devil and his gang would do that and they couldn’t care less about forgiveness because they won’t ask for it and they also don’t want to be forgiven.
To see good as evil, and not to repent and ask for forgiveness is what Jesus meant by blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Only the devil and his gang are like that. They will never have any forgiveness because they also don’t want it.
So for the devil and his gang, they are condemned to an eternal death. But they don’t want to die alone. What they want is our death. That is how vicious the devil can be.
But we don’t want to exist in death. We don’t want to be like the devil. We know the difference between good and evil, and we don’t want to see good as evil.
But the power of the devil is really something to be reckoned with, and he will strike the heel of our wounded fallen nature.
Hence, like Adam and Eve, the devil will be out to tempt us and like Adam and Eve, we fall into sin.
Sin makes us hide from God and from ourselves, but we don’t scamper away and hide in a dark hole. Rather we hide under the guise of pride and we criticize others for whatever good that they do, we slander and resort to falsehood to discredit others.
In short, we see any good as bad and evil. When we are like that, then the devil has trapped us.
Last Friday, we celebrated the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the devotion to the Sacred Heart, we are urged to go for confession monthly so that Jesus can clean and heal our hearts, so that He can make our hearts like His.
Confession is not useless and no sin is too great that it cannot be forgiven at Confession. To say that Confession is useless is also rather blasphemous.
We need to believe that nothing is impossible with God and we only need to come out of hiding from our sins and to encounter the healing love of Jesus.
Yes, we can change for the better, we will be able to see the good in all things, and even if things or people are bad, we want to believe that we can help them change for the better.
And we who want to be good and want to see goodness in everything, we want to call down God’s blessings on our world, on the coming summit, on those we care about, and especially on those we don’t feel like caring about.
Jesus wants us to cast out the evil from this world and restore goodness to it. Let us begin with prayer and by going for confession first. God’s blessings will follow soon after.