Pentecost +14 – Year A
It's what comes out of the mouth that we are judged by, not what goes in. Likewise with what doesn't come out of our mouths.
These are easy maxims that trips easily off our tongue. As any good storyteller will tell you, this statement is a great setup line for a next scene.
Next we see Jesus with no word where a word of mercy is asked for. What doesn't come out of his mouth is of great import. "He didn't answer her at all."
Then we hear Jesus with a tribal aside to his inside circle in the hearing of one begging for mercy, as though she could hear not - an even greater dismissal than speaking to the woman. "I was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Out of Jesus' mouth is an unseemly silence and a thundering ignor-ance.
Listen then to the words of the woman from far away:
Finally Jesus says, "Great is your faith." We wonder why this admission took so long.
The distance between our mouth and our own ear is ever so far. We can ignore what we are saying and not saying for a long time. Without bringing these two into closer harmony the disconnect between who we have been and who we desire to be remains huge. To constructively judge what comes from our mouths we need a renewed gift of listening.
May your faith find itself consistent in your mouth as you engage your life and the life of others. Sometimes speaking for yourself, sometimes for others.
And in letting your "Yes" be "Yes" may the "No" of the world be revealed for what it is – temporary.