Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

“But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.” (Matthew 5:22.)

Saint Augustine of Hippo comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed during today’s Mass:

“What are we to do? “Whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire.” But “no human being can tame the tongue.” Will everyone therefore go to the hell of fire? By no means. “Lord, you have become our refuge from generation to generation.” Your wrath is just. You send no one to hell unjustly. “Where shall I go from your spirit? or where shall I flee from your presence,” unless to you? Thus let us understand, my dearly beloved, that if no human being can tame the tongue, we must take refuge in God, who will tame it. Does your own human nature prevent you from taming your tongue? “No human being can tame the tongue.

Consider this analogy from the animals that we tame. A horse does not tame itself; a camel does not tame itself; an elephant does not tame itself; a snake does not tame itself; a lion does not tame itself. So too a man does not tame himself. In order to tame a horse, an ox, a camel, an elephant, a lion and a snake, a human being is required. Therefore God should be required in order for a human being to be tamed.” (Sermon 55)

O God,
from Whom all good things come,
grant that we,
who call on You in our need,
may at Your prompting discern what is right,
and by Your guidance do it.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen