Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs

Ex abundantia cordis os loquitur. “From the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). This verse from today’s gospel has become one of the most profound criteria for discernment in the Christian spiritual tradition. People who are critical or bickering in their speech can betray a heart that is not rooted in the saving love of Jesus Christ—however much those people may protest that they are standing up for the Lord’s name—but rather is choked by brambles and thornbushes.

We should be especially attentive if we are prone to condemn others in our speech, for this may be a sign that we condemn people constantly in our thoughts. Satan is the accuser, from Genesis all the way to the book of Revelation. But Jesus says, “I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world” (John 3:17). When the woman at the well tells Jesus, “I have no husband” in John 4, Jesus does not respond by accusing the woman of a lie, but rather, finding the truth in her statement, he actually saves what she has to say instead of condemning it: “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband;’ for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!”  (Jn 4:17-18). When we encounter such situations, do we accuse and condemn them in our words and in our hearts, as Satan does, or seek to save them and lift them up, as Jesus does?

“Not everyone who says, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21; cf. Lk 6:46f). Let us ask for the grace to not merely confess the Lord with our lips, but also in our hearts, so that   we may “produce good out of the store of goodness in our hearts” (Lk 6:45). Ex abundantia cordis os loquitur.

September 16th, 2017