In teaching confirmation, I would ask the kids what the Fifth Commandment meant. Most of the time they would speak of physical killing. And yes, this is true; this is part of that commandment. But the other part is that we can kill with our words, for the tongue is mightier than the sword. Our words can hurt a person deeply. Words can kill.
Our Lord Jesus gave us a new commandment that we are to love our neighbour as ourselves. If the words we are about to speak are not kind or true, or do not serve to encourage or build up a person, then we should bite our tongues, keep our mouths shut, leave the room.
All of us are saint and sinner at any given time. We all have strengths and weaknesses, faults and blemishes. We know what they are, and we don’t need to be reminded of them. We need to be loved, encouraged and strengthened for our life-journey.
So, let our tongues, the swords, be put away so that our love and kindness can flow over others.
God of mercy, help us to bite our tongues when we want to lash out at others. Let our words spoken aloud, be ones of wisdom, love, mercy and grace. Amen. — DS