3 June 2021. Revised and expanded for Cycle B-2021 from 5th Sunday Lent. 25 March 2010. Is 43:16-21 + Phil 3:8-14 + Jn 8:1-11.
“Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such (adulterous) women. So what do you say?” Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one… Jesus said to her, “Has no one condemned you? … Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more” (Jn 8:5-7,10-11).
Talk shows seen or heard, even when aired live,
Delete offensive words from being aired.
The show’s aired a second behind real time,
To give technicians time to edit words.
The tooting sound marks the spot in the talk,
Where the rejected words were deleted.
On Judgment day, Jesus warned the people,
Each careless word will be judged against them.
By their word, they will be acquitted;
By their word, they will be condemned.
Without words, Jesus shamed the arrogant,
With words thought out, He neutralized a mob.
You who made me with two ears and one mouth,
Prod me then to hear twice before I speak.
You who put ear on each side of my head,
Goad me to hear two sides before I judge.
You who put my mouth underneath my head,
Tap me to think out words that I talk out.
It befits me then to rein my wild tongue,
To toot out each word I have not thought out.
Lest words I blurt out hurt and crush others,
Rather than words that heal and build others.
Lest words I unleash ruin a repute,
When I seek sympathy for my dispute.
Lest words I seek to defend my honor,
Become fuel that stokes the flame bigger.
Lest words I testify bear false witness,
Rather than defend the cause of justice.
Lest I exaggerate facts with fiction,
Deepening rather than bridging faction.
Lest words I tell are lies and flattery,
Rather than truth and honest compliment.
Lest those I say are curses that poison,
Rather than praises with healing potion.
Lest words I say instinctively condemn,
Rather than words that patiently counsel.
Lest my words, with too much information,
Become sword that rips privacy open.
Lest my runaway tongue only blabbers,
Saying more than enough, boring others.
Prompt me words that desist from condemning,
Without any transgression condoning.
Prompt me words that tolerate wrongdoing,
Without consent to evil implying.
You who taught me to be meek and humble.
Mellow my voice to speak soft and gentle.
You who taught me, light up my darkened mind,
For from its darkness filthy mud slings.
You who taught me, chastise my vengeful heart.
For out of its fullness my mouth speaks.
Let my words invoke Your Name in worship,
Never to say it in vain expressing.
For “Jesus…,” with reverence, is sacred;
“Jesus…,” with vehemence, is sacrilege.
That I may toot out words I’ve not thought out,
Jesus, these I ask in Your Name. Amen. VSS
Picture Credit: Top photos–Woman gags by Flickr; Man gags by Charisma Magazine; President Obama tight lipped by drrichswier.com; President Washington tight lipped by drmagicsmile.com. Bottom photo–Girl gags by blogspot.com