Don’t Be Afraid of the Truth

Romans 3:21-30 / Lk 11:47-54

Why did the Israelites have such a hard time with the prophets, shedding the blood of every one from Abel to Zechariah? The prophets were troublesome and irritating because they told the truth, even and especially when it made their listeners uncomfortable. And there was ample precedent in ancient times for dealing with bad news: Kill the messenger!

I doubt that killing has ever occurred to us as a serious option, but a swift counterattack is all too common when an unwanted truth is spoken to us. Of course, not all truth-tellers have our best interests in mind, which makes it all the harder to receive their message. But the biggest barrier to our hearing the truth is always the same: Our old nemesis, ego, which has to defend its foolish pose as the center of the universe and the repository of all wisdom and competence. What a joke! Yet, how often we let ego trick us into defending the indefensible.

There’s a cure for ego’s power over us, and that is to give ourselves thoroughly into the hands of Our Lord, with the open-hearted admission that we’re far from finished works and that we never will get put together if He doesn’t help us. That’s the real truth, and it will set us free from ego and all its tiresome pretensions.

Why waste any more time trying to defend the indefensible? Instead, let’s confront the truth — whatever it is –  with the full confidence that there’s nothing we can’t face, and nothing we need to fear, as long as the Lord is at our side. And never doubt it, he’s always there.

  • lkeebler

    I think the prophets knew that many people hated the Truth, but they feared God more than they feared men. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. Their treasure was in Heaven and not on earth and it was their motivation. Their Love and fidelity to God was more important than life itself. Sounds familiar… Christ asks us all to have that kind of devotion to Him, even to death He says to follow Him. Who will do it?

  • laurak

    God bless you Monsignor Clark. We will never be “finished works” so long as we live in this world. That’s not an excuse to just accept ourselves the way we are though. We are to work on overcoming our sins and vices, but Jesus was the only “finished work” the world has ever known.

    Why notice the speck in your brother’s eye, while ignoring the log in your own?

    Prophets spoke God’s word to the people, but not usually individual people. Their words were always a plea to a group of people, to return to God. Only rarely, did a prophet speak to an individual person, and even then it was to LEADERS of a group of people, who was on the wrong track, but could lead the people he was responsible for, back to God.

  • laurak, we have to add Mother Mary as finished work and maybe even St. John the Baptist…

  • laurak

    You’re right James, I should have included Mother Mary. I agree with you that she is perfect, unlike us mortals.

  • lkeebler

    laurak: Thank you for your point about the “LEADERS of a group” as you say. They do have a higher degree of accountability as scripture tells us and so sadly sometimes were charged with leading the people astray; bad shepherds and wolves in sheep’s clothing. Here is one burning rebuke in scripture, we are to always be on the watch for good and bad shepherds (because there are both) and not follow blindly bad shepherds but know Christ and discern rightly (“they dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious”):

    Jeremiah 6

    13 “From the least to the greatest,
    all are greedy for gain;
    prophets and priests alike,
    all practice deceit.
    14 They dress the wound of my people
    as though it were not serious.
    ‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
    when there is no peace.
    15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?
    No, they have no shame at all;
    they do not even know how to blush.
    So they will fall among the fallen;
    they will be brought down when I punish them,”
    says the LORD.