Homily for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, 2022
Saint Paul warns the Galatians in today’s 2nd reading “if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another.”
One of the main ways that we bite and devour one another is through gossip.
And gossip is everywhere in our country today. We have entire channels on our televisions dedicated 24 hours a day 7 days a week to gossip. We have an entire genre of gossip magazines. Our newspapers have gossip columns. The number of websites completely dedicated to Gossip are uncountable because there are so many.
And yet Saints Paul, James and John all warn, in the New Testament, that Gossip is mortally sinful.
Just a few examples. Saint Paul warns the Ephesians in chapter 4 verse 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Saint James says in Chapter 4 verse 11 “Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law.”
Saint Paul warns the Romans in Chapter 1 verses 29 and 30 “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, and slanderers”
And Pope Francis recently said that gossip is worse than Covid.
I have recently committed to never speaking about a person who is not present, unless my speak praises the person not present. The only exception to this is when I am asked to evaluate a person, either by the Archdiocese or some other relevant organization, in which case I give an honest assessment of that person even though they are not present.
Let us commit to using our words to build up others, and not risk Hell in spreading gossip about others.