At Mass today I will be reading from the Gospel of Matthew 15:1-2, 10-14. In it we hear Our Lord say, “Hear and understand. It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles the man; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.” We would do well to consider for a moment one of the sins of a bully: contumely (the act of unjustly dishonoring someone in his or her presence). Making fun of someone or having recourse to a pejorative use of irony is bad for at least two people: first, the person who suffers on account of the ill-treatment; second, the person who speaks ill because an attack on one relationship necessarily hurts other relationships. Heeding Our Lord’s teaching in this area means always respecting and reverencing other people by what we say. May we use our voices to praise God and not to dishonor others!