Yes’ and ‘No’ are such simple words on the surface. They only contain a few letters but when they’re given a context, they begin to carry real weight. In context, ‘yes’ and ‘no’ could bring with them affirmation, defiance, joy, sorrow, possibility, limitation, trust, deception or much more. How we use these words reflect the people we are.

In today’s Gospel passage Jesus highlights the importance of aligning our words with our actions. He challenges his disciples to “make good to the Lord all that you vow” and “let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’” He calls them to be people of integrity in all they do and say. They need to be committed and their words need to be trusted.

For us, this teaching is critical not only to be good people, but also to help respond to our baptismal call to spread the good news and carry on Jesus’ message. How will Jesus’ message be received if our actions speak differently than the message we share? Ultimately, our words and actions, big or small, matter.

—Andy Rebollar is a Pastoral Associate at St. Pius X Parish in Grandville, MI and writes for Charis Ministries.