It’s been said that we live in a very “wordy world.” Every day we’re bombarded with words from TV, radio, the internet, billboards, road signs, t-shirts, bumper stickers, and goodness knows what else. We can’t even go to the beach without seeing airplanes dragging banners advertising beer or seafood.
Because we’re so inundated by them, words can often lose their power for us. We say things like, “Talk is cheap” or “They’re only words” or “Words don’t mean anything.” What a contrast to the situation described in today’s gospel, in which Jesus spoke at a synagogue. We’re told that people were “astonished at his teaching” and that they said to one another, “What is there about his word?”
It’s interesting that we aren’t told much of what Jesus actually said except for the command: “Be quiet!” These words were initially directed to a demon! But perhaps we can understand them as the Holy Spirit’s little reminder to us today to “tune out” our “wordy world” and spend a moment in quiet reflection on Holy Scripture, that the amazing, astonishing, authoritative, life-giving words of Jesus- the Word made flesh- might resound in our hearts.
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/083011.cfm