Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
In today’s Gospel Jesus speaks about his deep concern about truth. "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples". One of the scariest things in life is truth. We spend a great deal of time and effort in our lives making sure people don’t know the truth of ourselves. The truth of God is far more intimidating than the truth about ourselves. Once the truth of God is known, then excuses and lack of response leave us guilty and cowardly. So we have a tremendous resistance to the truth. We do all we can to obfuscate it, and have antipathy towards anyone who talks about the truth. Authority in the Church is resented. We defend ourselves by pointing to the personal deficiencies of the presenters of the truth. Even the enemies of Jesus admitted, "Teacher, we know you are true, and teach the way of God in truth" ( Mt 22:16), but they killed Him.
The Greek word for truth in the New Testament is alathaes. It is a combination of the negative a and the word for hide, lanthano. Truth is reality that is seen and is no longer hidden. It is not difficult for us to understand why we fight the truth. "The light shines in darkness" but we run like bugs on the floor. We head for the dark places of this world. I think in our modern world there is an abhorrence of the truth. It makes too many demands on us. It takes away our excuses. It is interesting that both in biblical and modern English that truth is not just about reality. Truth is deeply relational. When Jesus says "I am the Truth" ( John 14:6), he not only talks about his all embracing reality, but about his faithfulness. When a couple promise to be true to each other, they are talking about fidelity. One of the beautiful titles of God is El Emuna, Truthful God. Truth and fidelity must kiss if they are to reach their all enticing beauty.
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Detroit, Michigan.