Monday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
(II Samuel 5:1-7.10; Mark 3:22-30)
In the movie “Doubt” a priest gives a homily about gossip. He says that gossip is like cutting a pillow with a scissors in the open air and letting all the feathers fly out. As it would be impossible to gather up every feather, so it is impossible to make up for the harm done by gossip. The scribes in today’s gospel are guilty of gossip, and Jesus has his own way of describing the harm done.
In order to discredit Jesus, the scribes say that his healings are the work of the devil. Being respectable, these men will be believed by the people. Jesus says that this vicious gossip is tantamount to blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. First, the gossipers can never make amends for the breach of confidence in Jesus which they cause. Their sin is infinitely culpable because it undermines the work of God which Jesus is doing.
Our conversations often encounter vacuous spaces. We are tired of talking about the weather or the upcoming sports event. We want to turn to people as a topic. We are entering a minefield. We must be sure that what we say is not only true but fair. That is, we must seek to avoid misinterpretations that would harm another’s well-being. We may not be committing an unpardonable sin, but it still may be a serious one.