I am an introspective person. I like to reflect on moments in my life when I could have and should have done better, so that I can improve my behavior. When I was in my late teens or early twenties I had a moment where I expressed myself in a horrible way and it still haunts me to this day. I had just finished playing basketball with some friends and had to make it to work, so I had a limited time to grab something to eat. I decided to go to McDonalds. Upon entering the lobby, I realized it was packed full and I regrettably blurted out “Jesus.” The woman right in front of me in line turned around and said something along the lines of “Is my Lord and savior.” I felt so small in that moment. I paused and realized that I had just unintentionally used the Lord’s name in vain, when I could have used so many other words to express what I was feeling. I was embarrassed to say the least.
I share this story some 25 or 30 years after it happened, yet it still haunts me. I knew better and I was not representing my character in this moment. The blessing of the story is it has allowed me to be more intentional in my speech, knowing I don’t want ignorant words or phrases to define who I am. This weekend’s Gospel states that “A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” We all want to be good, and we can start by making sure what comes out of our mouth matches what is in our heart.