A PLEASING PENANCE 2: NO FOUL TALK!

Saturday 4th March – Saturday after Ash Wednesday

Reflection: Isaiah 58: 9-14

A PLEASING PENANCE 2: NO FOUL TALK!

Yesterday, our reflection centred on the need to please God with our penance. Today, we will continue this reflection, focusing on our “words”. God continues His message about a pleasing penance with the words: “if you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist, the wicked word…your light will rise in the darkness, and your shadows become like noon” (Is 58: 9). Hence, you and I are called to focus not only on our actions this season of penance but also on our words.

A Yoruba adage states that “words are like an egg”, hence just as a broken egg can’t be gathered again, the words we speak can never be withdrawn. Thus we need to examine our thoughts before speaking. Many young people habitually use abusive and disrespectful words on each other. Whether as a joke, a reaction in anger or by engaging in gossip, the use of foul words are unbecoming of us as children of God. Christ tells you and I that we would be required to account for every foul word we speak (Mt 12:36). That should put us on our toes in guarding our words.

Today, make a commitment to examine every word you say. Choose to speak kindly to others and to desist from gossip every day throughout Lent. Ask for God’s mercy each time you recognise your failure in this regard and for the grace to be kind and gentle especially with your words.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please forgive me for the times I have spoken wrongly to others. Strengthen me this season to resist every temptation to gossip or use abusive words. Amen.

Faith Pearls: CCC 2507 – Respect for the reputation and honour of persons forbids all detraction and calumny in word or attitude.

Hide a Treasure: “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one.” Colossians 4:6 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 58: 9-14; Psalm 86: 1-6; Luke 5: 27-32

 

WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH


Sunday 22nd March – 5th Sunday of Lent

Reflection: Hebrews 5:7-9

WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH

Words are effective means of communication anytime any day. We can even say that they are the best means of communication. When you speak, people hear you through the sound you make and the same happens in prayer. When we pray, God hears us. Yes! He does hear us, but sometimes we assume that coining so many words or using beautiful intellectual or emotional language when praying would make God hear us quicker. This is not the true dear friend. Beyond the words we utter during prayer, we must also pay the most attention to our inner disposition. That is, the level of humility and devotion that accompany the words we utter.

In today’s first reading, we are told that Jesus made “loud cries unto God” in His life on earth and was heart because He was humble and devoted. Humility in prayer appeals to God’s heart because “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Pride makes us think that God’s blessings are a reward for our self-righteousness. Only in humility do we see our true selves, weak, fallen and in need of mercy and grace. Beloved, let your words in prayer be accompanied by great humility and submission like those of Christ and God will hear you for He is faithful and merciful. 

PRAYER: Dear Father, save my soul from sinking in the mud of sin. Help me to come to You in humility and trust always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: CCC 2611: “The prayer of faith consists not only in saying ‘Lord, Lord,’ but in disposing the heart to do the will of the Father, Jesus calls His disciples to bring into their prayer this concern for cooperating with the divine plan.”

HIDE A TREASURE: “Do all these in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion as the Spirit leads.” Ephesians 6:18a GNB

Today’s Readings: Jer 31:31-34; Psalm 51:3-4, 12-15; Heb 5:7-9; Jn.12:20-33