23 May 2007

CONSECRATED IN THE TRUTH

Wednesday in the 7th Week of Easter
Jn 17:11-19

In His encounter with the scribes, Pharisees, and elders of the people, Jesus saw so much hypocrisy and fiddling around with the truth. He was so disgusted with their self-righteousness that Jesus openly condemned them, calling them hypocrites, whitewashed tombs, and brood of vipers. Understandably, He did not want His disciples to be anything like them. He does not want any of us, His present-day disciples, to be hypocrites, self-righteous, and liars as well. Thus, in the Gospel today, Jesus consecrates us – His disciples then and now – in the truth.

What does it mean to be consecrated in the truth? Three things.

First, to be consecrated in the truth means to love the truth always. A lover of truth always seeks the truth, promote the truth, and defend the truth at all cost.

Second, to be consecrated in the truth means to know the truth. Seeking, promoting, and defending the truth require knowing the truth.

Third, to be consecrated in the truth means to live by the truth. The acid test of consecration in the truth is in living truthfully. It is not always enough to know the truth; we must be truthful, too. Beware of those who know the truth but is not truthful.

In the First Reading today, St. Paul warns the Christians in Ephesus against fierce wolves as he bids them farewell. He knows that when he is gone men will be “coming forward with a travesty of truth on their lips to induce the disciples to follow them.” These men, whom St. Paul calls “fierce wolves”, will have no mercy on the flock. We are fully aware that such men (and women, for that matter) still prowl around like a roaring lion and, as St. Peter describes them in one of his epistles, looking for someone to devour. They are the best examples of what it means to be not consecrated in the truth. Worse, they continue to gain allies up until today.

It is for this reason why Jesus sends His Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides unto all truth. Teaching and reminding all that Jesus said, the Holy Spirit is the Advocate against “fierce wolves” and the Paraclete who aids fidelity to the truth.

By virtue of our baptism, we have been consecrated in the truth. With the Holy Spirit in our hearts, let us live according to this consecration. Jesus prays for us in the Gospel today; let us grant Him His prayer.

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