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Saturday, February 19, 2000

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James 3:1-10
Psalm 12
Mark 9:2-13

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closed-mouthed and open-eared

"If a person is without fault in speech he is a man in the fullest sense, because he can control his entire body." —James 3:2

The tongue "exists among our members as a whole universe of malice. The tongue defiles the entire body. Its flames encircle our course from birth, and its fire is kindled by hell" (Jas 3:6). "The tongue no man can tame. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison" (Jas 3:8).

Therefore, beg Jesus to be Lord of your life and your tongue. Then you will be "slow to speak" (Jas 1:19) and more likely to listen (see Jas 1:19) and learn. For example, when Jesus was revealing His divinity at the Transfiguration, Peter spoke too quickly again (e.g. Mk 8:34) by implicitly denying Jesus' divinity in grouping Jesus with Elijah and Moses (Mk 9:5). Peter "hardly knew what to say" (Mk 9:6), but this did not stop him from talking. After the Transfiguration, Jesus "strictly enjoined" Peter, James, and John "not to tell anyone what they had seen, before the Son of Man had risen from the dead" (Mk 9:9). The three apostles did shut their mouths, and soon they asked a perceptive question regarding the Biblical prophecy of Elijah's return before the Messiah's coming. It seems that the apostles were beginning to think and learn after being quiet for a little while.

Shut your mouth, bite your tongue, and open your ears and heart.

Prayer:  Father, in this Jubilee Year, grace me with a profound silence.

Promise:  "This is My Son, My Beloved. Listen to Him." —Mk 9:7

Praise:  In love, Mary adores our Eucharistic Lord as she prays before the Blessed Sacrament for two hours a week.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999