Grace to you and Merry Christmas!
As we come to the last day of the year 2016, I thought it would be important to reflect on something very crucial to any good decision-making process, namely, love for the truth.
For many, the New Year calls for gratitude for the blessings of the past, enthusiasm for the future, reassessment and, many times, refocusing, looking ahead.
Our choice biblical text for today’s reflection is 1 John 2: 21. It states: “I [John] write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.”
For our Christian faith, Jesus, the Christ, is the Truth personified. “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). In Jesus there is no alteration, no deceit and no lie. Building on the truth is building in Jesus. It’s building on a solid foundation.
There are two attitudes, based on the above biblical text, I would suggest for us to imbibe as we look forward to the New Year. One is respect for the truth. Second is being messengers for the truth.
Respect for the truth guarantees we do not object to the truth even when our opinion is false. Isn’t it true that many times our opinions may not be the truth? Though we cherish those opinions and are comfortable with them, our readiness to give in to the audacity of the truth is an opportune circumstance for blessings and greatness. Before the truth, there must be some sacred homage because truth is of God.
Similarly, if we find the truth, we are obliged to abide by it. It would not be in the good interest of anyone to discover the truth and not abide by the discovery. Such a thing is living a lie, and it isn’t healthy for us to lie to ourselves. When we discover the truth, how blessed we are to hold on to it, despite the inconveniences the truth can sometimes cause us. As we know, truth isn’t always pleasant. Yet it’s redeeming.
Similarly, because the truth is not a special reserve of anyone, it must be shared. I think the time is ripe for all people of good will to stand up and proclaim the truth. Being messengers of the truth makes it possible for lies to be overcome, or at least be overshadowed. If all the time what we hear are lies, how could we know the truth? If lies dominate the mainstream, whence shall come the truth? How shall we be made free?
The Lord says, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Finally, one more attitude I would love us to adopt in relation to the truth as we begin the New Year is what Saint Paul admonished in the Letter to the Ephesians, “Speak the truth in love” (Eph 4:15). Let’s always speak the truth. It’s a duty in love not to deprive anyone of the truth. It’s also a duty in love to make sure the truth is communicated in the best possible way so, at least, people can have access to it. Depriving people of access to the truth is morally objectionable.
Let love inspire us as we communicate the truth of the Gospel. Let love inspire us as we share the blessings we know and have. Let love inspire us not to hoard to ourselves what should be known by many.
Be certain of this: blessed are those who are a blessing to others. Is there truth and are there blessings we’ve received? Making them available as much as possible to as many as possible is a blessing.
Ultimately, how about making it a priority that in the year 2017, others may see in me (us) the Christ, and that we shine the light of Christ for anyone to see? Such a New Year resolution, if followed through, would be a slam-dunk.
Once again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.