Page 36 - Feb2012

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James 3:1-10
Psalm 12:2-3, 4-5, 7-8
Mark 9:2-13
As we prepare for Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season, reflections of how the sim-
plest of gifts can be so powerful. James discusses our gift of speech and creates a vis-
ual of a giant ship being steered by a rudder that is so minute compared to the vast size
of the ship. ˈEven though they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered
by a very small rudderˉ. Something that is so small, our tongue and the gift of speech,
can move many people.
Mark˅s gospel then provides a preview of the knowledge and foresight that God demon-
strates on the mountain: Jesus˅ significance and the future roles of the disciples. A
voice appears, ˈThis is my beloved Son. Listen to himˉ. As Jesus walks down the
mountain with Peter, James and John, ˈhe charged them not to relate what they had
seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.ˉ The disciples
will soon learn what Jesus meant and how their gift of speech will move the masses.
James˅s reflection helps us understand the power of the gift of speech. From a simple
ˈI love youˉ in the morning to our loved ones, to Dr. Martin Luther King spreading the
word of peace and equality, words have power. Words can
create amazing, creative, resourceful, resilient people and
can also destroy the hopes, dreams and beliefs of the same
people. In our daily lives, as James states, ˈwe are teach-
ersˉ and how and what we say will be judged more strictly.
What we say does matter and taking the time to understand
how powerful that can be makes all the difference in the
world. As a parent, our children are constantly seeking af-
firmation for deeds they have done: a drawing here, a test
score there, some creation out of paper clips, string and
tape, deeds on the ball field, a special deed that goes un-
noticed or just a chance to connect at the end of the day.
In any of these instances, how do we respond? Do we offer
words of encouragement, gratitude, thanks, love, affirmation,
congratulations or do we scowl because our day has not
gone well or just not respond at all? Words matter. ˈEven