He went down to Capernaum, a city in Galilee, and was teaching them on the sabbath. They were astounded at his teaching, because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.”
But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” When the demon had thrown him down before them, he came out of him without having done him any harm. They were all amazed and kept saying to one another, “What kind of utterance is this? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and out they come!” And a report about him began to reach every place in the region.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I tend to think, as St. Ignatius does, that love shows itself more in deeds than in words.
Still, there’s no denying the power of words offered with authority. Song lyrics can heal a broken heart. Poems illuminate great mysteries about the world. Words of admonishment or correction can set the record straight, can right a meandering path, can speak truth to power.
Much of what I love about Jesus has to do with his action – his breaking of bread, his willingness to place his hands on people who are sick or broken, his strength in carrying a tree up a hill to his death.
Today, though, I remember that by his words alone he has the ability to change things – to astonish, to teach, to renew.
May I never forget that while my deeds are important, my words have power too. May I always choose them well.
—Eric Immel, SJ, is a member of the Midwest Jesuits. After six years in Chicago, he recently moved to Boston where he studies theology.
Jesus, teacher and friend –
Today, let me know the power of your words and trust that when you speak, you offer me guidance, joy, hope, and truth.
Grant me the courage to listen. Grant me the strength to share your word with those I meet. May I be astonished by your love.
—Eric Immel, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!