Words That Will Endure Forever

November 18, 2018

In the Gospel today we are told “heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”  Words are powerful and words can lift up a broken day and sadly words can also destroy a beautiful day.  How often do we harbor words that have taken us down?  How often have we given them power?  Many of us might be able to recall hurtful words that were spoken to us.  It might have been a comment about our looks, it might have been words that undercut our confidence.  Many times words have become a powerful weapon that have directed our lives into negativity.  But that is not the whole story.  On the flip side there are words that have given us an inner peace that cannot be taken from us.  It might have been the first words of a teacher or coach that told us we could do this.  It might have been the encouraging words of a sibling who helped us with a math problem.  In those moments words became building blocks.  In those moments words uplifted a fallen heart to achieve greatness.

Today we hear words more powerful than all of these put together, the Word of God.   These words will never pass away.  These words will endure for all eternity.  It is precisely because of this we stand at the Proclamation of the Gospel when it is proclaimed to our community during the Liturgy of the Word.  The proclamation is the high point of that part of the celebration.  We mark ourselves with the sign of the cross because we want our bodies to pay close attention.  We do this so we can fully immerse ourselves into the word that endures forever. This word flows from a love for us that is eternal.  I remember the old childhood rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”  God’s word will actually save us. God’s word that flows from an eternal love redeems us.  God invites us to embrace this word.  It has eternal significance; it has eternal love.  So much power is given to words, but only one Word really matters.  It was the Word of God uttered through the life of Jesus, our Savior who promised the Holy Spirit to guide us to an understanding of His Word.

We hear many words in a lifetime; some are painful, some are uplifting, yet the only Word that endures forever is His.  Pay attention to those!

Reverend John J. Ouper