Isaiah 55:10-11 / Matthew 6:7-15
There is this proverb that goes like this: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.
Quite true on the superficial level, but not true at all in the deeper level.
Words can never hurt us physically, but words can hurt us internally and emotionally.
It can even cause psychological and spiritual hurt.
Words that hurt can start quarrels, damage self-worth, destroy reputations, cause sleepless nights.
Yet on the other hand, words can also heal, inspire dreams and bring hope, sooth pain and suffering and give birth to love.
Hence, words may come about freely but we have to use them under scrutiny.
The letter of James (James 1:26) warned that the man who thinks he is serving God, but has not learnt to control his tongue is deceiving himself.
The 1st reading tells us that God's Word would not return to Him empty without carrying out His will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.
That Word we heard in today's gospel, and that Word is about love and forgiveness.
The Lord's prayer is our love expression to God. Yet to love God means that we also must forgive others their failings.
If we don't forgive others their failings, we can never speak words of love, words that heal.
But when we forgive others and cleanse our hearts, then out of the fullness of our heart, we will speak words of love.