Friday, October 21, 2011
Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Matthew 12:22-32
One of the most troubling thing about being a parent is the level of responsibility we have for another vulnerable and needy person. As a mother, I never felt I was ever doing enough for my children, and because of income and other limitations, I often felt inadequate as a parent. Erma Bombeck once wrote, "you know you are a good and successful parent when your kids can pay for their own therapy." I have held onto that bit of wise humor, knowing that being human means we make mistakes all along the way. All we can do is ask our children to forgive us, and tell them how much we love them. Because we do, and our children, the love we have, and forgiveness are all gifts from a loving Creator.
Today Jesus finds himself wrestling with angry religious leaders as he is trying to offer love and healing to a mentally ill, blind and dumb man, someone who is completely needy and vulnerable, who has never had the advantages that the onlookers knew. They are so worried about getting their theology right, that they cannot see and know they are standing in the presence of God in flesh, love made visible and tangible to a broken and hurting world. They were afraid to be wrong, so struck out in anger and fear. Jesus knew how vulnerable they were too, and knew that God would forgive them of all their missteps and cruel words. He wanted them to know that destroying love and God's spirit was a different matter. We are reminded today to remember how willing God is to forgive what we have done. We are simply asked to foster that same love and forgiveness wherever we go.
Today I ask God to hold tenderly and bless all those who are vulnerable and needy today, and bring peace and healing to all who are broken by their own human failings. May we all ask forgiveness where we need it, and seek to foster love and God's presence where ever we find ourselves today. For God, who is perfect parent, who knows our needs before we can ask, looks upon each of us as a beloved child, and nestles us in the warmth of God's healing and forgiving embrace.