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All Issues > Volume 25, Issue 5

<< Sunday, August 9, 2009 >> 19th Sunday Ordinary Time
1 Kings 19:4-8
Ephesians 4:30—5:2

View Readings
Psalm 34:2-9
John 6:41-51

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"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!
(For a related teaching, order our tape Don't Stifle The Spirit on audio AV 56-3 or video V-56.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2009 through September 30, 2009.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 25, Issue 5
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