READINGS: EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
In the 1st reading of this 8th Sunday in Ordinary Times (Sirach 27:4-7) we read: The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so too does one’s speech disclose the bent of one’s mind”. Again, it says, “When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear; so do one’s faults when one speaks”. So if we ever want to get a glimpse of what our heart is full of, all we have to do is to listen to the words that proceed from our mouth. Our speech always betrays us, and what our heart is full of, in many ways, determines the altitude of our relationship with God. So, it is important for us to listen to the dominant content in our conversions with others.
If in our conversations, we are constantly talking negatively about other people, judging their actions and behavior and castigating them in the light of our own biases, then it is most probable that our heart is filled with gossip, slander, and maybe, hate. If the content of my conversations are centered on bemoaning my problems and struggles, constantly complaining about things I don’t have and things I would like to have, and being jealous of others and their possessions, then my heart is most probably filled with ingratitude, lack of contentment, and greed. If the dominant content in my conversations is earthly-bound—pleasure, money, women, men, sex, gambling, material things, etc., then my heart is most probably filled with lust, promiscuity, licentiousness, and flesh-driven appetites. When the content of my conversations is filled with reviling, shouting, belittling words, castigation, and all forms of malice, then it is most probable that my heart is full of anger and resentment.
It is also important to evaluate whether the topics of our conversation during the day is ever turned to speaking about God, about Church, and spiritual matters? To be all flesh and no spirit is to be, according to Scriptures, “Cursed… and like a bush in the wastelands that does not see prosperity when it comes”. Our conversations reveal whether God holds a prominent place in your heart or not. It is also important that we listen to the content of our prayers and judge whether we are always focused on our problems, what we want, what we need, etc., and seldom focused on magnifying God, praising His name, and thanking Him for all that He has done? It is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks and this is why Scripture says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”. So, we need to guard what we read, what we listen to, what we look at, what we sit around with, and whom we have conversations with. What we see, hear, and constantly around with feeds our heart and can determine our destiny. May the good Lord help us!