Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Sanctify my words.
Imagination: Picture Jesus teaching his disciples to practice simplicity in their speech.
People often call upon God to witness their lie. To avoid this, a Jew might substitute for God’s name a holy place or holy thing. Jesus says that this is still a vow. The heart of a disciple should be simple and his speech be marked by simplicity. No need to swear by God.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus said to his disciples, “You have heard it said ‘Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord what you vow’. But I say to you, ‘Do not swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by earth, for it is his footstall; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair black or white.
Let your speech be ‘Yes’ when you mean ‘Yes’, and ‘No’ when you mean ‘No”. Anything beyond that is from the evil one.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Each day, you speak thousands of words. Many of these are false, or self-serving.
- The Jews used “Heaven”, “earth”, and “Jerusalem” to substitute for God’s name. God should not be invoked for our interests.
- Purify your words, and you will make great progress in the Kingdom.
- Holiness changes our speech. Words flow more simply and more in accord with truth.
- Say what needs to be said. Make your speech helpful and encouraging. Serve others and not yourself.
- Be faithful to your words. Your yes is yes. Your no is no.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, how important is my tongue.
- Make my words a gentle stream, always refreshing others.
- Guard my lips, O Lord. Put your seal on my mouth.
- O Jesus, I will speak words of truth from my heart.
- Lord, remove all deceit from my lips.
- O Jesus, if I do not to sin with my tongue, then, “I will be a perfect man”. (James 3:2)
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will speak less today. Holding my tongue when the words are hurtful or deceitful.
- I will try to praise others, encouraging them with kind words.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Say “yes” when you mean “yes”. “No” when you mean “No”.