Appleton, WI

Aug 22 Homily Connect: Words Matter

Scripture: Jos 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b Eph 5:21-31 Jn 6:60-69

Words Have Power

  • Pastors, teachers, counselors and elected officials should know
  • Words matter

Audrey and Edward

  • Audrey a college music teacher in Moorpark, CA
  • Edward a sad, tall student – never participated – poor test grades – ate lunch alone
  • Audrey would seek him out – not sure it made a difference – followed her heart
  • Final exam – Edward did not do well – did not show up for conference with Audrey
  • Audrey waits past the end of the day – Edward shows up looking terrible
  • He admits he was a lazy selfish, stupid and ugly – He was hopeless

Audrey’s Response

  • Overwhelmed she tries to stop Edward’s self-deprecatory words
  • Listening to her heart – She gives Edward a final grade of an A
  • Tells him she believes in him – will always believe in him and be there for him
  • She says she will always be there for him – believe in yourself – create your dream life
  • Audrey had never graded a student this way
  • Edward felt positive and uplifted for the first time in his life – he felt hope
  • Audrey’s compassionate, heartfelt words saved his life

Words do matter – words have power – examination of conscience

  • Our words have the power to build up or tear down another
  • At the end of the day, we might examine our consciences – How did I interact with those around me today? Was I affirming, supportive, positive, encouraging?
  • Was I abrupt and short with another person?
  • Do I believe that verbal abuse is a serious sin? Have I ever verbally abused another person?
  • Did people leave my presence feeling better about themselves or worse? Am I careful not to gossip about others or say anything that could ruin another person’s reputation?
  • Do I speak words of truth? Am I very much aware that there are so many words swirling around me and that some people do believe, if they say something that is false often enough, people will believe them…?
  • Do you remember the eighth commandment? You shall not bear false witness…


  • Always spoke beautiful words and lifted others up
  • The Lord assures you that you are precious in his eyes – You are his
  • He holds you in the palm of his hand – He will never forget you
  • He will refresh you if you join your life to his
  • Your burden will become lighter because he is at your side

Like Peter – May We Say

“Master, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life! We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the holy one of god!

Questions for Reflection

  • What impacted you from the readings/homily?
  • What has it been like for you to be in the presence on someone who is positive and encouraging?
  • What do you think it was like to be in the presence of Jesus? Can you name your favorite instances in Scripture?
  • Have you ever been the victim of gossip? What was that like? How can we stop gossip in
    our everyday life?

Live Connected

Spend some time doing the examination of conscience found above in these notes. Pray
for strength to do better if needed.