16 June 2020

Windhoek, Namibia

Jesus said, “I am the truth.” When Jesus spoke of truth, he wasn’t speaking of knowledge or even
wisdom. He wasn’t speaking of a correct set of facts. Teaching couldn’t reveal the truth about God to our
world. Books and blackboards, studying and examinations couldn’t bring people closer to God’s
purposes and God’s nature. Jesus didn’t point to the truth. He is the truth and the word. One who realizes
the truth cannot conceal it. “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke,
and encourage with every form of patient instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2). We are now in the out of season –
all the churches are restricted in the number of gathering inside the church buildings due to CoVid-19.
This is a time for the domestic Church to gather in the family and reflect the Word and the Truth and
preach in and through our lives.
The need of the time is to take care of our lives and others’ lives, that is, to love others as one loves
oneself (cf. Jn 13:34). To know every family member and to care for them as precious gifts is knowing
God. For, it is in knowing the other that we come to know the ‘Other’. To know God we need to know
Christ. Jesus is the revelation of God. Jesus is the truth, unselfish and forgiving. We see a man who came
to die so that we might live. He teaches us how to love our fellow human beings. In Jesus we see a man
who, while suffering an agonizing death still showed love and concern for all people. Knowing the truth
is an exercise of the heart. To know God and God’s truth requires us to know Christ in a deep and
committed way. Knowing this truth isn’t an intellectual exercise. Jesus explains this truth through serving
the humanity. The Truth came into the world, but the world failed to understand it (cf. Jn 3:19). Few are
the ones who realized the Truth. When they realized the Truth, they practiced the Truth and remained in
Truth and the Truth sanctified them (cf. Jn 17:17) and set them free (cf. Jn 8:32).
St. Francis of Assisi, called by Pope Pius XI as “second Christ”, is one of the prominent preachers of this
truth, who said “let all the brothers preach by their works.” St. Francis’ encounter with lepers—were
associated with social stigma, would always be for Francis the core of his religious experience. He lodged
with the lepers and earned his keep caring for them. His experience with them had nothing to do with
choices between wealth and poverty, knightly pride and humility or even doing service instead of
conducting business. It was a dramatic personal orientation that brought forth spiritual fruit. Francis
encountered the Truth, he was set free by the Truth.
The Christian who is not ashamed of the Gospel, who preaches the Truth, and lives a godly life, is the
need of the time. Truthful living is the outcome of our relationship with God of holy love. There exists an
integral relationship between truthful living and experience of God’s holy love, as revealed in Jesus
Christ. An experience of the living Christ and His word imparts freedom from anxiety and fear; and
liberates us from situations/structures which threaten to suffocate us all, every now and then. Living with
unending tension is always a matter of high concern, especially in days of popular anxiety like our own.
Do we trust God to keep our heads above the waves of anxiety that hit us hard in changing times? It gives
our weary hearts hope when we remember Jesus prayed for us: “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is
truth” (Jn 17:17). A priest is an alter Christus (another Christ) in the Catholic Church’s teaching. St
Francis of Assisi who was not a priest is called “second Christ”. It means that each one of us, sanctified
in Truth can be eminent preachers of the Truth through works.
The world that failed to understand the Truth will try to blind humanity, so they can’t see the light of
Truth, thus they don’t receive Jesus. But as the Christians continue to preach the Truth, God’s light will
shine into their hearts and they will be converted. Truth’s encountering with Saul on the Damascus road
made him Paul, a bold proclaimer of the Truth of the Gospel even amidst the persecutions. St. Paul says
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or
nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Rom 8:35), “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through
him who loved us (Rom 8:37) and “   If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an
obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel” (1 Cor 9:16).