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Sunday, August 9, 2009

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19th Sunday Ordinary Time

1 Kings 19:4-8
Ephesians 4:30—5:2
Psalm 34:2-9
John 6:41-51

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tongue lashing

"Do nothing to sadden the Holy Spirit." —Ephesians 4:30

We either sadden or gladden the Spirit by the use of our tongue. Our tongues control not only our bodies but even the movement of the Spirit (Jas 3:2). Therefore "never let evil talk pass your lips; say only the good things men need to hear, things that will really help them" (Eph 4:29). "Get rid of all bitterness, all passion and anger, harsh words, slander, and malice of every kind" (Eph 4:31).

Also, we must control our tongues so that "seldom is heard a discouraging word." For example, the great Elijah began to speak death, negativity, and defeat. Shortly he changed from a one-man army into a victim of depression. Elijah "prayed for death: 'This is enough, O Lord! Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers' " (1 Kgs 19:4). God's word is "spirit and life," not depression and death (Jn 6:63).

Furthermore, we should guard against murmuring and complaining (Jn 6:41). This misuse and abuse of the tongue deprived the Israelites of entering the promised land (see Nm 14:1-24). It also prevented the Jews from receiving Jesus' great revelation of Himself as "the Bread of Life" (Jn 6:48).

The tongue is like a valve that can either open up or shut off our hearts. If the Lord controls our tongues, He controls our whole bodies (Jas 3:2).

Prayer:  Lord, may I continually offer You "a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which acknowledge" Your name (Heb 13:15).

Promise:  "If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever; the bread I will give is My flesh, for the life of the world." —Jn 6:51

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Whose lips were filled with love and mercy!

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Don't Stifle The Spirit on audio AV 56-3 or video V-56.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009

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