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Mark 7:15. There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.
Words are powerful. Our speech, for better or worse, can either build up the kingdom of God or attack it. We might want to dismiss the power of words, but all we have to do is look to history.
Throughout history, often before the murder of a people, propaganda started. People would listen to the hateful speech of their leader, and then they would act (or not act). “They are just words,” people would say, but those words wormed their way into a nation’s mind, allowing callousness and cruelty to grow.
At the same time, the words of great men and women inspired nations to work toward equality. Their words moved individuals to change or to act. Even in our personal lives, we can all think of those healing words of a dear friend. We can also remember the cruel taunts of bully. Words are important.
Words come from within us, and once they are released into the world, they live. Within each of us is the potential for the infliction of great harm or the gift of grace. We must choose our words carefully because our hearts, our souls, and even our lives depend upon our words.
Today the Church remembers John Keble, Priest, 1866.