importance of speech – Homily for February 26th and 27th,
Sirach says in our first reading that one’s speech
disclose the bent of one’s mind. Jesus
also references the importance of our speech in our Gospel.
And the importance of our speech is mentioned in the letters of Saint Paul,
Saint James, Saint John and others.
One of the things that the Bible and the Catholic
Church make absolutely clear – one of the quickest ways to Hell is our tongue,
usually words that we say, but also we can sin by not speaking when we
should. Some examples of ways to sin
through our speech:
It is a serious sin to spread gossip, something that
we don’t know to be true
It is a serious sin to say something we know to be
true about another person but sheds a bad light on that person
It is a serious sin with our words to in anyway
approve of another’s sin
boasting and bragging are also sins we commit through
Swearing and taking the Lord’s name in vain is a
serious sin against the second commandment.
And of course lying is something we should never do either.
We can also sin by NOT speaking when we should,
particularly when we see another committing a sin, but do not say anything to
point that out.
On the positive side, we can use our speech to praise
another person directly. We can all
recall someone who spoke something to us, a positive word of encouragement that
turned our day around for the better.
Why don’t we do that more often?
Looking back on my life when I was younger, I can’t
remember any time where I use my speech to affirm another person, but I can
remember lots of times where I committed all of the above sins of speech or lack
With Lent starting this coming Wednesday, as we think
about what we can give up, let us add to that list a resolve to not commit any
sins with our speech, not spread gossip, not say anything negative about
anyone, let us not boast nor brag, let us commit to never swearing and never
taking the Lord’s name in vain...
Let us instead commit to using our speech to affirm at
least person per day in person. Not
electronically, not on snapchat, not via text but in person as Jesus always