“The Church's great liturgical tradition teaches us that fruitful participation in the liturgy requires that one be personally conformed to the mystery being celebrated… Otherwise, however carefully planned and executed our liturgies may be, they would risk falling into a certain ritualism. Hence the need to provide an education in eucharistic faith capable of enabling the faithful to live personally what they celebrate.” (Pope Benedict XVI, SACRAMENTUM CARITATIS, 64)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Why the Truth is so Important

In John 14:6-7, we read:
Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
The apostle Thomas just asked Jesus to show him the way to heaven. Jesus then says that he "is" the way. The way to heaven is through Jesus.

But that is not all Jesus said. Jesus also said that he "is" the truth, that he "is" the life. If Thomas is just asking about "the way", why doesn't Jesus just say that he "is" the way and leave it at that? Its because to know Jesus we must know the truth also, and we must strive to live the life like Jesus led.

I want to focus here on Jesus' saying that he is the truth. From the very earliest days of the Christian era, we have heard echoes of Pilate's question, "What is Truth?" He stood and looked Truth in the face and asked what is truth. The irony. Our current Christian culture today seems to also deny that absolute truth can be known, as if truth is only the summation of public opinion, or some relativistic notion that anyone can define what their own truth is.

There is an absolute truth, and as in the day when Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to lead his Church into all truth, we as Catholics, members of the Church that Jesus founded upon Peter, the Rock, are the fortunate recipients of an eternal promise that will provide us with the only source of eternal truth there is: God himself.

If we consider this fact, we must consider the ramifications: there is only one way to heaven, and that is Jesus. Jesus is the Truth. So without the Truth, there is no way to heaven. If one were to not believe in the truth, one is, in essence, stating that they do not believe in Jesus. And since the Church is the body of Christ in a mystical way, if you don't believe everything the Catholic Church teaches, you don't believe in the truth revealed by Christ, and by extension, put your own salvation on the line.

It takes a measure of humility to submit to everything the Church teaches, but not only is it extremely important, it creates a simple sense of joy. I know this from my own experience, because I can humbly accept the fullness of the Church teaching, I don't have to live my life trying to prove that I am smarter than the brilliant minds who came before me but rather my life upon the rock of truth that is Christ and the revelation of the Holy Spirit to his Church on Earth.

Turn a careful ear to the readings during this Triduum and to our shepherds when they deliever the homilies intended to speak directly to you, and have a blessed, fulfilling, freeing Holy Week.

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