Rom 4:13,16-18; Ps 107:6-9,42-43; Lk 12:8-12
"The LORD remembers his covenant forever."
When the LORD remembers, things happen. When the LORD forgets, even then, great things happen. The LORD remembers his covenant with Abraham that he renewed with Isaac. When the LORD remembers his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then he leads forth his people with joy, with shouts of joy. Indeed, the LORD leads us from slavery and from exile and from sin. All through history the LORD's remembering is for our blessing, in every generation! At the same moment the LORD remembers his covenant and leads us out, the LORD forgets our sin, our complaining, our refusal to remember his love and mercy in the way we treat one another. Such is the remembering and the forgetting of the LORD our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the God of Saint Paul who recognizes that Abraham is the father of all who have faith, Jew and Gentile alike. He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who promises the Holy Spirit to those who are called to testify in court for their faith in the LORD God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This promise is also intended for us who live in this age and endure persecution.
Abraham is our father in faith. The LORD made a promise to Abraham and fulfilled that promise in Christ, "I have made you father of many nations." In Christ the eternally begotten son of the Father, Abraham's faith is fulfilled. He has inherited the world through the righteousness that comes from faith. This faith is the gift that enabled Abraham to trust in the promise and that is also a gift. Everyone who receives that gift of faith and trusts in the promise of the LORD is a descendant of Abraham. The LORD promised him literal descendants through Isaac whom God called him to offer up in sacrifice. This seeming contradiction was the ultimate test of Abraham's faith. He believed that the LORD who gives life would give life to his son, Isaac. In Christ this promise is completely fulfilled because of the resurrection of Christ and because we share in that gift from on high. We, too, trust in the LORD who calls into being what does not exist, He calls into being a completely new creation by the power and out pouring of the Holy Spirit, a body of Christ made up of reconciled Jews and Gentiles.
If we forget who we are, we will deny the Lord Jesus before others. Such forgetfulness will lead to our not being acknowledged before the angels of God. This teaching becomes even more severe when the Lord Jesus continues, "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." What is this great blasphemy? Perhaps it is the willful denial that we can be forgiven. Perhaps there are some who foolishly think in their hearts that they have so grievously offended the LORD that even He cannot forgive them. To deny the Holy Spirit access to our hearts so that he might give us the grace to repent and believe the Good News is to close off all hope for new life, mercy or kindness. Such is the despair of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. However, those who do welcome the Holy Spirit have nothing to fear. Even when we are summoned before religious or civil authority, we have nothing to fear. What we are to say and when we are to say it will be given us from deep within our Spirit-filled hearts. This Holy Spirit hovers over us whenever we are in communion with the Body and Blood of Christ. This Holy Spirit breathes in us even as we cry out Abba, Father. We have nothing to fear. Saint Ignatius had no fear as he approached Rome and his own self-sacrifice as wheat ground between the teeth of the lions. His great desire was for the unity and order of the Church. He knew, what we sometimes forget, the price of commitment to Christ.