Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 364

But I say to you, do not swear at all….
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the Evil One.

Once upon a time, I took part in a project of several months, a psychodynamic group. The intent of the group was to help each participant understand and recognize how she comes across to others. It also intended to help each participant decide how she might improve her communications. In other words, it aimed for a deep change of attitudes and behaviors as she sees a reflection of herself in the reactions and responses of others.
After weeks of frustration I finally suggested to one fellow that he give the rest of us a break, “Don’t talk. Just listen for five days!” Not surprisingly, the proposal met a lively response and much debate from everyone. The next day the fellow took my suggestion; for a week he was silent. Interestingly, I too decided to talk less. I needed to take a dose of my own medicine; to let go, let be, and let God.

One way to practice Jesus’ teaching – “Do not swear at all!” – is to say less. Often we should only say “Yes” when you mean yes and “No” when you mean no.” Why say any more than that?
Many of us, and I certainly include myself, think that we should make a difference and our presence should be felt. Both intentions mean I have to talk -- a lot. If talk doesn’t do it, argument might!

But often the Presence of God is better represented by silence. Affection, respect, concern and reverence for another human being need few words.

When the Lord sent us from Jerusalem to “make disciples of all nations” he didn’t mean we should argue them into submission. That is neither respectful nor persuasive. If we present only ourselves many will wonder, “Why are you so happy? Why aren’t you more anxious, greedy, lustful or aggressive? Why do you regard no one according to the flesh? What is the secret of your contentment?”

It might take only a few words of revelation to introduce Our Lord and Savior to them, after they have become convinced our God is superior to any they have ever known.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.