Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday of the First Week
Words are powerful. When we speak, our words can make a difference in the lives of others, and in our own lives as well. Isaiah 55 proposes that, as rain and snow fall from the sky, allowing the earth to foster plants that grow that then provide "seed to the sower and bread to the eater," so too can the words we speak go forth and "accomplish that which I purpose and prosper in the thing for which I sent it." So we need to remember how powerful our words can be; when we put hope, healing and redemption in our words, we can help foster those same qualities in the world around us.

But, we are also challenged to remember not to make a show of our words and our intentions, no matter how noble we might believe them to be. The verses in Matthew 6:5-7 have often been favorites of mine, pointing out the hypocrisy in those who make a huge show of their words and reminding us instead to focus our intentions quietly toward the Divine. "God knows what we need before we ask," Jesus reminds us here, so we should keep our prayers simple: to do God's will on earth as it is in heaven, and to be forgiven as we forgive others. And Psalm 34 reminds us to ask for help when we need it: "I sought the Lord, and the Lord answered me, and delivered me from all my fears."

It is difficult to be mindful of something as simple as the words we speak to others, to ourselves and in our conversations with God. These verses invite us to remember to sow goodness with our words, to keep them honest and focused on our truest intentions, and that when we need help, we need to remember to ask not only our friends and our family, but also the loving Spirit who is within us, beside us and before us, and who always knows what we need.
Loving God, please help us to remember that with every word we speak, or write, or think, we have the power to connect with the best of others, and with You. May You help us see more clearly what You want us to accomplish, and may the words we speak bring us closer to those around us, those in need, those we may serve better, and You.

Caroline Crawford, Public Relations and Marketing

First Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 34:4-7, 16-19
Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website


Anna said...

The power of words are incredible and often underestimated by us. Thanks Caroline for reflecting on how we need to be thoughtful about the intentions of our words, and may they be ones filled with hope, healing and redemption. Thanks for your meaningful "words" and beautiful reflection!

Anonymous said...

On a similar note, I've been reading a new book written by Kevin Hall, "Discovering Your Purpose Through the Power of Words". This book is filled with great words and even better messages about the strength that words have in our life. The examples Mr. Hall uses to illustrate these words are beyond inspirational. Thank you for these Lenten reflections we all can use these reminders in our lives. Jim