Words can instill fear, give crushing blows, console and inspire

Politicians use words rather freely; at times, even carelessly. Too many words often result in the audience checking out altogether. Too few words can leave the listener puzzled. The wrong words can hurt; the right words can lift the spirit. Indeed, words can be powerful.

St. John in his gospel refers to Jesus as the Word Incarnate (made flesh), God becoming a person like us and, after the Resurrection, dwelling in and among us.

The Word here is not just a conglomeration of spoken sounds or of letters on a piece of paper. It is an action – the Divinity entering history. It is person, God made visible, God’s love made evident to us.  And Jesus speaks and acts.

We feel God’s wrath when He upturns the tables of the money changers at the Temple doors.

We brace ourselves when He condemns those give scandal to children, that is, hurt anyone who is defenseless.

We sense His love when Jesus heals, when He pardons, when He consoles.

Through our Baptism, we are the Word to the world us. We shouldn’t be a mumbling Word or an empty Word like so often the words of politicians are, but a powerful Word of justice, of defense of those without power, of forgiveness and consolation.

In this instance, words really matter.