First Reading: 1Cor 10:14-22; Psalm: 116. R. v. 17a; Gospel: Lk 6:43-49
THE MOUTH SPEAKS FOR THE HEART
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
“. . . for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Lk 6:45).
Sometimes what we say betrays us. There are times we do not wish to divulge some secret about us but somehow we accidentally say something in connection to that secret and thereafter discover we cannot retrieve what has already been said. If someone was paying keen attention to us, the immediate reaction of the person would be like “What did you just say?” And of course we would find a way to defend ourselves. Even in jokes we say some dirty and vulgar words and people laugh about it. But that was just something true about us revealed under the guise of a joke.
Think of this: words spoken without careful consideration when we are talking freely or saying something to a person is often a clear revelation of our true self. Even the objects, symbols and adjectives we use to describe a person or thing say so much about us. Jesus reminded us in the gospel of today that our hearts are like storehouses where good or bad fruits are stored. The truth is that a pure heart would find it very difficult to utter vulgar or dirty words because such thoughts are not stored within. The words of our lips are in the final analysis the colour of our hearts.
When we speak, joke, or act, let us listen carefully to ourselves. Times like this often reveal the state of our hearts. It is actually not easy to nurture a pure heart for it takes a lot of discipline saying no to worldly thoughts and desires and thirsting for the things of God. But when we discipline ourselves in this way, we purify our hearts and build our lives on Christ the rock. And as we know, it is always difficult to dig and build on a rocky ground but very profitable at the end. So it is ok when we struggle to jostle our way through impure thoughts to reach purity of heart. For this we should not relent. Finally, the things we feed our hearts with are reproduced in our words and actions; we must therefore mind what we take in if we seek purity of heart.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, purify the thoughts of our hearts by the help of your grace so that our words and deeds will always reflect the values of the gospel. Amen.