>> Tuesday, August 5, 2008
First Reading: Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22
Gospel: Matthew 15: 1-2, 10-14
Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!" Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' " Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?" He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides (of the blind). If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."
"...Hear and understand. It is not what enters one's mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one." Matthew 15:10-11
I have always believed that whatever words you utter can never be taken back. Speech, and words for that matter, is a very powerful thing. It could make or break a person. It could build up or destroy relationships. It could earn you respect or it could betray someone's trust. The quality of the words that we speak are but a reflection of the states of our hearts. Whenever we harbor ill feelings in our hearts, they inevitably come out of our mouths. Whenever we feel hatred and bitterness, chances are great that every word, phrase or statement we utter is punctuated by a curse.
Observe that whenever you feel angry, frustrated, hateful and bitter, your words are almost always punctuated with a curse. Whenever you are angry, and somebody innocently asks you something, you lash out at them in anger even if they are not the ones who we are angry about. And most of the time, the hurtful words that we speak and even the lies can never be taken back. Even if we didn't mean to say those words, (they were only brought about by our own anger), the hurt has been inflicted and the damage done.
But observe a person who is happy and at peace with the world and with himself -- You will always hear words of encouragement and appreciation from these persons. Truly, the state of a person's heart will definitely affect the words that he speaks.
That is why, when we deal with others, let us be careful with the words that we speak. I am not saying that we must pretend with our words - this will only make matters worse. We must just be honest with our words and with ourselves. Because even if we keep a nice and happy front, this will never last if we have a deceitful heart.