Get Rid of Gossip

In many places throughout Scripture, we are warned of the dangers of talking idly about others, particularly speaking inappropriately or uncharitably, especially regarding another’s behavior, appearance, motives, or reputation. Gossip is so popular and typical in many of our conversations, that oftentimes we are arms deep into it before we even realize we’re doing it, and it can become a habit, or even the basis of “friendly” gatherings.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus explains how the people were gossiping about himself as well as John the Baptist. He says, “John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinner.’” (NAB, MT 11:18-19) These are the irreverent, inappropriate, and uncharitable remarks about John the Baptist, the one about whom Jesus says, “among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist.” (11:11) And these are the rantings about Jesus, the Christ, Son of God.

How wrong our gossip can be! We must be so very careful here, to ensure that we ourselves are not drawn into the judgmental conversations we encounter in our daily lives. As Christians, we pursue Truth, we pursue Love, and we pursue Wisdom. These are present in Christ, and so, as we seek Christ in others, we become able to witness Wisdom “vindicated by her works” (11:18), where grace allows us to, as yet, live imperfectly in the Kingdom of God, with faith and hope to sustain us.

I know that I am judgmental, and that only you, Lord, see with the eyes of perfect Truth. Help me to seek you in others and to find your presence in the world. Give me your grace to speak of others with charity, compassion, and understanding. Allow me to see your Wisdom as she expresses herself in works of faith and love. May I grow ever stronger in my love for others so that you may be glorified in my life. Amen.

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See with Blessed Eyes

Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” (NAB, LK 10:23) Oftentimes, we think it must have been easier for the original disciples of Jesus to believe in him. After all, they witnessed his healings, heard his teachings directly from him, had a better understanding and comprehension of Hebrew scripture and Jewish life, and saw, first-hand, his many miracles. Yet, we also know that all of the Twelve, except for John, abandoned Jesus throughout his Passion. It was only upon receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, which opened the spiritual eyes of the Apostles, that they became disposed to receive the blessings of what they had witnessed. With their eyes, they saw God at work through Jesus, they saw the promised Messiah who would unite God’s people, and they saw the power of Salvation in love, mercy, and sacrifice.

Jesus is still at work today. Jesus gives Salvation to our lost world, even now. His power is ever present in his love, mercy, and sacrifice that endure for all time. Just as was necessary for the First Disciples, however, we must see with the eyes of faith, a gift that is only possible by God’s grace and through the power of the Holy Spirit. But when we recalibrate our vision to be not limited by the world, but rather, enlightened by the light of Christ, we are then capable of seeing Jesus present in each other and in all of creation. It is then, when we see the manifestation of God around us, that our eyes will be truly blessed by what we see.

Holy Spirit, come! Give me the wisdom I need to see with the eyes of faith, that I may witness Christ’s real presence in the world, that my eyes may be blessed to see the reality of Jesus in my loved ones, in the needy and hurting, in the marginalized and neglected, and in those who persecute you. May my eyes see your glory as I witness your love and mercy at work in the world. Amen.

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