The Gospel today manifests the power of Jesus’ words, so effective that without even touching a person he was made wholly human again, no longer divided by the demon within him. Words are powerful forces in the world around us. While love manifests itself more in deeds than words, how and when we choose to be silent or speak can also be powerful. Words can cause healing or pain, division and reconciliation.

Over the summer, I worked with the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Sonora. While providing for the physical needs of migrants who had been in the desert was an appreciated service, what was even more amazing was the power of speaking to one another. Listening and recognizing the humanity of the migrants who came in and out of the comedor had a profoundly positive effect on those who had been treated as less-than-human in their journey. As his followers, Jesus asks us to use our words and actions to help him bring wholeness to others.

—Mike Tedone, SJ, is a Jesuit Scholastic of the West Province in First Studies at Loyola University Chicago.