More Than Words, Mother’s Day
The properly placed word can bring healing and health, refreshment and renewal, encouragement to the soul. There are times when we want to give up but then someone’s words compel us to go on. You can give life to someone by your words or do damage to them because words can also hurt us and wound us.
By your words you are either bringing life or doing damage – to your finances, your career – your relationships, your marriage.
Our words matter because we have been made in the image and likeness of God. The ability to speak and communicate is one of the most powerful ways we reflect God’s image. The bible tells us that God spoke the world into existence. God said let there be light and there was light.
God spoke it and it happened. We don’t have that kind of power; however, through our words we are sowing seeds that can, over time, bear the fruit of the words we have spoken. Words have power. And God’s words have God’s power.
We see this clearly played out in the first reading. The Acts of the Apostles tells the story of the early Church and what happened after Jesus rose from the dead. Acts is full of stories of bold faith and amazing courage. It also tells the stories of real human beings who struggled and some of the basic problems that come with any organization.
Acts of the Apostles tells us that the Church was continually growing. As a result of their growth, they are experiencing growing pains and problems.
The problem the early Church faced was that some of the parishioners were complaining about church policy and procedure. Imagine that happening in a church?
In fact, the church had grown so quickly that the apostles themselves were running around trying to do everything and, in the process, neglecting the one thing that they needed to do: preach the word of God.
If you are a Christ follower, there will always be a temptation to neglect God’s word for other activity. And the temptation is exacerbated by the fact that maybe those other activities are good things.
So the apostles staff up, selecting some qualified candidates to assist them in the basic functions of the church. They delegate both authority and responsibility. If you want to successfully delegate anything, you need to give both the authority and the responsibility.
Acts tells us that the proposal was acceptable to the whole community and that they chose seven men to take over the responsibility.
These men were the first deacons. So the word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
Since the word of God continued to spread, so did the Church. There we see the power of God’s word. The growth of the Church and spreading God’s word went hand in hand. That was true 2,000 years ago and is true today. However, this isn’t just a principle for our Church as a corporate body, it is true for you and me personally. As the word of God spreads and influences your life, you will grow. You will become healthier. You will become happier, you will become more even tempered.
Not only that, you too can create by your words. People create and bring to pass what they continually say.
You cannot speak negative words and expect to have a positive life.
You cannot speak negative words over your marriage and expect your spouse to grow. You cannot gossip about your friends and expect those friendships to flourish. You can’t constantly speak negatively about your work and have a productive and rewarding career. You cannot be constantly critical of your boss and hope to win influence and favor. You cannot speak negatively about your finances and hope to turn them around. You cannot always speak badly about your school, and expect to succeed there.
You cannot rely on criticism and complaint as your contribution to the life of your family or parish. You cannot speak only negative words and expect to have a positive life.
Listen to what I am NOT saying. I’m NOT saying you shouldn’t live in reality. Know reality, name reality but don’t dwell on the negative, or amplify it, or exaggerate it, and don’t talk about it, except when and where it is appropriate, necessary, and helpful.
How often do we only speak about the negative things and ignore what’s positive. There is just something in human nature that wants to dwell on the negative.
Jesus also knows words are important. We heard him reveal in the gospel today a remarkable fact to his friends and followers. He says he speaks the words of the Father. He says similar things many many times. He emphasizes the great importance of his words.
Over the next few weeks we are going to learn and grow together about the words we use and how to use our words so that we can enrich our own lives, and bring life and love into the lives of others.
And what better day to launch this series than on Mothers Day, when we celebrate the women who gave us life and love. Let’s honor them by bringing life through our words.
So, here’s my homework for you, and my challenge. First, commit to come back next week, and all four weeks of this series.
If you are not in church, That’s ok. Join us on-line: we live stream our Sunday Mass each Sunday at 9:30am Central time.
The second challenge is to make a commitment to spend more time with God’s word. We encourage you to try using the Youversion bible app. (say how to join). After Mass Ryan will send everyone who is part of our SaintMaryLife youversion community a five day reading plan for this week.
Another great opportunity is to join our online small group this Monday night, for Message Matters Monday. It will be at 6:30pm this Monday on our
FaceBook live at facebook.com/saintmarylife.Message Matters Monday is all about how God’s word integrates into your life. We encourage you to start spending time with God’s word.