Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

March 3, 2020

IS 55:10-11/MT 6:7-15

In our first reading today from Isaiah, we get a glimpse of one of the ways in which God relates to the world, namely, through his “Word”. Just as rain comes down and waters the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, “So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.” (55:11) God’s word is efficacious, it accomplishes the purpose set out for it. This concept is on full display in the creation narrative of Genesis 1: God speaks, and things are. By His word, all things come into existence. 

We too, as creatures made in the image of God, can participate in His creative power through the use of our own speech. The choice is set before us: we can either use our words to speak truth and build people up, or spread lies and tear people down. Our words – just like God’s – are efficacious, though not in the same manner. God’s word creates reality, our words can only conform to it. This is no small matter, however. Part of our dignity (and our duty) as humans is found in our ability to speak the truth.   

An old Chinese proverb says “the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.” Perhaps as an addition to our Lenten disciplines this year, we too might focus on calling things by their proper name, not babbling aimlessly, but being precise with our speech: calling that which is good, good, and that which is evil, evil, letting our yes mean yes and our no mean no, and always speaking the truth in love. 


Jon Wisnieski
Graduate Assistant, Office for Spirituality