February 29, 2020 – Saturday after Ash Wednesday

“Avoiding crimes of the tongue by reaching out to the Divine Physician’s Healing Touch!”

(Based on Is 58:9-14 and Lk 5:27-32)

A young man was browsing through a huge library.

As he was admiring the various titles of the publications, he came across a small pamphlet on which were written the following words:

“I am responsible.

I am responsible for a number of haunting experiences in the world…
… pillows being wet by sobs
… noble hearts broken in the silence of a dark corner
… cruel misunderstandings that make life look dark and dirty
… gentle and sensitive natures, seared and smeared with stains
… old-time friends splitting apart and turning their backs on one another
… and many many more!

Use me, therefore, responsibly…
… Else, I would continue to be responsible for many such ignominies!
Yes, I am responsible!”

Wanna know my name?

I am the Tongue!

And all these my works are called: The Crimes of the tongue!”

Yes, the “crimes of the tongue” are a major source of a number of haunting experiences in the world.

Are we also promoters of such “crimes of the tongue”?

The Gospel of the Day is an account of Jesus, the Great Physician of Galilee, in His rounds of healing sick patients…
… and encountering some critical persons who reveal a dark side of human life by their “slanderous and harsh” tongues and committing the “crimes of the tongue!”

Levi, the tax-collector heeds the call of the Lord “to follow Him” ( Lk 5:27)

In his great happiness of being accepted and the joy of following his new-found love, Levi hosts a grand party.

This feast is a wonderful time of sharing for various other tax collectors as well.

But this time of joy and happiness, becomes an occasion for some people to “wag their tongues” in negative talks and remarks!

As the saying goes…where two or three are gathered with a vicious and malicious mind, there is the assassination of the character of few people!

The Pharisees and their scribes, seeing Jesus sharing the joyful companionship of the tax collectors, began to murmur and grumble: “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” (Lk 5: 30)

Jesus clarifies His mission of coming to the world to heal the sick and to cure the ill. (Lk 5:31)

He is the Great Physician of Galilee.

This Great Physician, clearly examines the “tongues” of the Pharisees and the Scribes and identifies their sickness…

Their tongues spoke ill of people who were being saved.

Their tongues criticized the people who were given a redeeming status in the society.

Their tongues lashed at out the Lord who came to bring acceptance and love to the outcast.

The words that their tongues uttered …
… revealed the low-state of their life.
… revealed the negativity that was widespread in their life.

The Great Physician today wishes to examine our own tongues: our words and our speech.

Are we also persons whose tongues lash out in harsh criticism and rash judgements?
Are we also persons whose tongues hit out in negative comments and unkind criticism?

The Great Physician is here to heal us…

Our tongues easily reveal our sicknesses to Him.

St Francis de Sales, mentions about this aspect, in his book, ‘Introduction to the Devout Life’…

“Doctors get a good knowledge of the health or the illness of a man by examining his tongue.

Our words are signs of the qualities of our souls”

The state of the tongue reveals the state of the health of the person.

The condition of the tongue gives an indication of the well-being or illness in a person.

Similarly, the words, which the tongue speaks, reveal the state of our inner life.

Our speech, which the tongue utters, reveal the condition of our spiritual life.

Prophet Isaiah assures this promise of the Lord to us:
“If you take away from the midst of you…
… the yoke
… the pointing of the finger
… and speaking of wickedness…

Then shall your light rise in the darkness and it gloom be as the noonday!” (Is 58:9b-10)

This time of the Lent is a great opportunity for us, to improve this area of our life.

Jesus, the Great Physician has His prescriptions ready….

His Holy Word, which can sweeten our tongues with patience and charity.

His Holy Eucharist, which can cleanse our tongues in sanctity and holiness.

May we use the tongue, responsibly…
… else, it would continue to be responsible for many ignominies of life!

On this last day of the month of February…
… a special date that comes only once in 4 years – Feb 29…
… with a grateful heart, let us seek to be healed and cleansed by the Divine Touch of the Great Physician…
… and avoid all “Crimes of the tongue!”

God bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “There are some, while fasting, who will not moisten their lips with wone, perhaps not even with water, in his great abstinence…

… however, he does not scruple to steep them in his neighbours blood, through slander and detraction!”

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