The Scripture readings for Mass from the past few weeks have been shots in the heart. Snippets of each day are like teeny tiny arrows right in there. They're the kind that I could shake off and ignore if I wanted. Gradually the little pierce would heal and I'd forget about it. Or I could feel the pierce, allow the arrow sink in, and open my heart just a bit more for His grace to permeate.
The other day as I read the reading Peter and John's words in the face of their arrest shot in.
"It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard."
They probably seemed like freak shows, right? Street preaching and all? But there they are. They're arrested and questioned and their super fancy defense strategy is "sorry, officer, we can't not speak." Is it impossible for me? Or can I make excuses about needing to be diplomatic and approachable (read: silent)? Not that I need to be waving a sign on the side of the highway but how often to I just speak about Jesus unafraid, unfiltered, unabsorbed with self because it is simply impossible for me not to speak? Because I love Him so much that I can't contain it? I could share of how the Lord has worked in my life, of the things I have seen and heard, but really, no one listens to a Jesus freak, right? Do I let my fear of looking ridiculous or losing a follower or opening myself up to judgement and criticism silence the Gospel from ever reaching my lips? Do I hide behind the (false #thingsJesusneversaid) idea that it is only our silent life's witness that matters?
I announced Your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as You, O Lord, know.
Here I am, Lord; I come to do Your will.
Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
Your faithfulness and Your salvation I have spoken of;
I have made no secret of Your kindness and Your truth
in the vast assembly.
So, ummm, yeah. Again. There's that insistence that speaking of our faith is part of the deal. Can I pray this Psalm sincerely? It's His will for us to praise Him and share Him out loud. But how often do I restrain my lips and hide Him within my heart? If we have something we love that has changed our lives, we share it. If God has rocked our world with His faithfulness and salvation and kindness and truth, it only makes sense that we speak about it. With the Holy Spirit's guidance giving us words appropriate for the moment, YES, but we allow our mouths to be opened to speak.
May it be done to me according to Your word.
His Word. His Word where grown men find it impossible to hide their joy and a King dares not restrain his lips from singing the praise of God to all the people. May it be done to me, Lord, according to Your Word. Her words in the Magnificat are an unreserved exclamation of the joy of what He has done in her. Mary kept all the things given her in her heart and reflected on them but she didn't hide them. It was her heart-treasured memories that gave the evangelists much of the story of her son that fills the pages of the Gospels! May my soul be so filled with that same Spirit of joy and love that I can't help but share His work in the world.