While we know they do not do what sticks and stones do, words matter a lot because they do much more. Why else would the God of the Universe, Jesus, be The Word? This week is a great opportunity to have some frank discussions as a family with the words of Jesus as the backdrop and discussion starter. Spread the word that words matter! Starting with your loved ones…
Catechesis At Home – Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year C
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REFLECTION – Words Matter and So Does The WORD
Words matter. The old children’s saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” is pretty much a lie we tell ourselves to mask the hurt of someone’s words. We are physical and spiritual beings. We are also emotional and intellectual beings. And words matter to our intellectual, emotional, and spiritual well-being, which all affect our physical being. So, words matter.
Jesus is the Logos, the Word. And, more importantly, He is the Word made Flesh. His Incarnation makes the readings this week (and every week) mean something. The wisdom of Sirach proclaims that one’s speech discloses the bent of one’s mind (Sirach 27:6) and Jesus says, “from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). When we speak of God with reverence and speak to others with charity, it is because we have the grace of God in us. St. Paul preaches this week about eternal life; that death is overcome by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. We profess this with our words in our Creed at Mass. We proclaim this with our participation in and reception of the Eucharist. Jesus, the Word made flesh, comes to us as spiritual food to help us become His mouthpiece on earth. We are called to proclaim the Gospel by our lives and our words.
Words matter. Jesus teaches us that we are known by our fruit, and that fruit most immediately is our conversation with others. It is also our conversation with Him…prayer. The Psalm this week sings of thanksgiving – what it is and why we should give thanks to God. It is a prayer for all of us, and a reminder of Who God is and what He has done for us.
DISCUSSION – Why do words matter?
Discuss this week with your family and friends why words matter. Talk about times that you were hurt by someone’s words. This could possibly lead to some hard things to discuss, especially those things where family has been the one that hurt us. It would be best for a parent to lead-off by acknowledging words they have used that have hurt their children. Take this opportunity to ask for and offer forgiveness for the times we’ve hurt each other by our words and actions. Because words matter, they can be friendly, uplifting and healing, too! Take advantage of that. Discuss those times as well, and make sure to end on a high note with words of affirmation and love.
In this discussion, talk about how words matter with these leading question: What words hurt us? What words heal or help us? What words show love? What words show joy and peace, kindness and generosity? How do these words affect our relationships? What words express the Beauty, Goodness, and Truth of God?
ACTIVITY – The Word Matters
The Word matters because Jesus is the Word. The Word of God is Scripture. We meet Jesus in Scripture. This week spend some time reading Scripture aloud together as a family. Choose some of Jesus’ miracles or read some of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) or Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:17-49); the latter should be familiar because we have heard it the last couple of weeks at Mass. Discuss what you hear and listen to what others say hear…God may be speaking to us through them, because He wants us to know that their words matter, too. Pray before reading Scripture so that the words matter by being made present and understandable. Pray this prayer if you are unsure of what to pray before reading scripture:
Holy Spirit, you made it possible for the Word to become Flesh and dwell among us. Make Him present now in the Word so that we may hear and understand what the Father wants to tell us. As we gather together to pray and learn and read Scripture, open our hearts and minds to the words that we read so we can grow in holiness and become the saints God wants us to be. Amen.
DIG DEEPER – Other Words Matter resources from Holy Owned and Operated:
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Page: Prayer Basics
Page: Lent Resources
Video: Fruit of the Spirit – Kindness
Podcast: Kindness – Episode 25
Podcast: The Incarnation – Episode 72
TWMWU: Jesus Saves, The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
TWMWU: Be Doers of the Word
Lesson: Incarnate Catechesis
How do Words Matter to you?
by Beth & Kristofer Cowles
Other Help on HOO
What is the difference between lust and love?
During this “season of Valentines” Beth and Kristofer cover this (often unknowingly) confusing and vitally important topic before we dive headlong into the pink and roses and hearts and whatnot.
Beth and Kristofer share how to tell the difference between lust and love, and how to teach that to impressionable minds and hearts.
And they do this in the context of Mortal Sin and Theological Virtue: Lust and Love, respectively.
They also, right out of the gate, point to Nick’s seven-part series about Love as a great resource on our web site for this discussion, which is linked to in the show notes.
Living in this world, but not of it, is difficult, and Beth and Kristofer offer us some pointers on how to do that, particularly in this day and age.
And, no, there is no inappropriate or “parental discretion advised” content in this episode.
But they do get attacked by a tree!