8th Sunday of Ordinary Time (C):
“FROM THE FULLNESS OF THE HEART, THE MOUTH SPEAKS
- Summary of ideas of today’s Sunday readings.
- «From the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks» (Gospel for today, Lk 6:45).
- The need to be prudent in one’s speech.
1. Summary of ideas of today’s Sunday readings.
Today’s Sunday liturgy underlines the importance of having a pure and clean heart.
Our life as Christians essentially consists having the same sentiments of Christ, striving daily to have our heart and life similar to those of Christ: think, feel, act, want, speak as Christ did on earth.
- Christianity should never be considered as a mere fulfillment of a body of obligations and prohibitions. Rather, it aims to have Christ as the center of one’s daily existence, so that in one’s actions, Christ is manifested and glorified.
- This is possible with a daily authentic interior conversion of the heart and the mind, from where everything arises for Our Lord himself taught that
For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly.
2. «From the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks» (Gospel for today, Lk 6:45).
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.
Good and evil come from the heart of man:
“The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place “to which I withdraw.” The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation: it is the place of covenant.”
Convinced of the centrality of the heart as the “place of decision…the palace of truth…the place of encounter and covenant with God,” and from it arises the good or evil in our intentions and actions, it is of utmost importance that we strive to maintain its purity for that which predominates in our heart will necessarily be manifested in our exterior works, especially in our conversation.
3. The need to be prudent in one’s speech.
“As the test of what the potter molds is in the furnace, so in his conversation is the test of a man. The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so too does a man’s speech disclose the bent of his mind. Praise no man before he speaks, for it is then that men are tested.”
-1st reading: Sirach 27_4-7
- If one wishes to make good use of God’s gift of speech, an interior attitude of charity is necessary. If the fulfillment of God’s love and that of our neighbor is our daily goal, it has to be exteriorized as well in our conversation. Otherwise, if we do not care about God and others, we could easily commit grave offenses against charity and justice: slander, gossip, insult, calumny, lies….
Gossip is a very human thing, they say. And I reply: we have to live in a divine manner. The evil or flippant word of only one man can create a climate of opinion, and even make it fashionable to speak badly about somebody. Then that thin mist of slander rises from below, reaches a high level, and perhaps condenses into black clouds…”
-St. Josemaria Escrivá, Furrow, 909
- Hence, we must first desire to please God, do what He wants and reject what He despises and from this resolution, the prudence and charity in the use of speech arise.
Acquire the habit of speaking about everyone and about everything they do in a friendly manner, especially when you are speaking of those who labour in God’s service.
Whenever that is not possible, keep quiet. Sharp or irritated comment as well may border on gossip or slander.
-St. Josemaria, Furrow, 902
Let us then “give thanks to the Lord (Resp. Psalm),”“God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ […] be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain (1 Cor 15:54–58),” striving daily to “to sing praises to your name, Most High,
To proclaim your kindness at dawn and your faithfulness throughout the night,” glorifying God in our thoughts, words, actions -our life-, which arise from a pure and humble heart.
A Blessed Sunday and week ahead!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.
SEE AS WELL: POPE FRANCIS: LIKE JESUS, BE A WISE AND EXEMPLARY GUIDE FOR OTHERS. https://catholicsstrivingforholiness.com/2019/03/03/pope-francis-like-jesus-be-a-wise-and-exemplary-guide-of-others/