A few years ago, perched on my lofted dorm room bed, I was scrolling through Instagram to find that the guy I spent nearly all my teenage years pining over was in a new relationship.
I promptly descended into the rabbit hole of social media-stalking, looking for all the reasons I was better than her, so that I could send him a harshly worded message about why he was making the greatest mistake of his life. In my experience of rejection and abandonment, I did exactly that, and I will never forget his response: "You’re the most critical person I know."
Not exactly the response I was hoping for. And it stung.
Sister, I knew in a lot of ways, he was right. I have always had a sharp tongue and a decisive nature, and it has led me into more uncharitable moments than I can say. I am so concerned with being right, and being heard, that I fail to first turn to the Father with my thoughts.
In today’s Gospel, we witness Jesus preach about how He does not speak on His own, but is entirely obedient to sharing the words of His Father. Jesus, perfect in all His ways, drew from the Father before using His own voice.
An obedient, yet gentle Messenger, Jesus is constantly teaching us that His ministry only exists to build the Kingdom of God, to spread the Word of eternal life.
His docility to the Father moves me to reflect on how I am using my own voice, both in person and through my phone, as each presents a different struggle for me.
Am I using valuable community time with my friends to gossip? Have I submitted the full weight of my feelings and desires to the Father before typing them out and hitting send? Am I making this post to feel vindicated about something? How is my speech building the Kingdom and speaking to the faithfulness of God?
Jesus, I pray that our words would only ever glorify You, that our platforms would become Yours, that You would inspire gentleness in us. Amen.
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Sarah Erickson is a politics pre-law major at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Born and raised in Arizona, she finds great joy in mountains, lattes, American history, and the piano. She is constantly discovering Christ's wild love in the little things. You can find out more about her here.