Lectio: Gospel John 18:33-37
"Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to Him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?" Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done? Jesus answered, "My kingship is not of this world; If my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from this world." Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth listens to my voice"
I have a small framed print on my desk here at the St. Joseph Formation Center, it is of Jesus standing in silence before Pilate in the praetorium. Pilate looks puzzled and "unappreciative" of truth. I ponder this painting often. In our culture where "truth" is so relative, we often hear friends and family, and those at school or work, "voice" what "truth looks like to them," often times, creating "truth" as they choose it to be, so as to conform to their lives. We can be tempted to choose who is "god". God in His infinite love and mercy gave us His only beloved Son, who is truth. Truth has a name: Jesus. This truth came into the world, and lived among us. This truth, is the light in our life today and every day. He is our light in the darkness and in these challenging times of moral turbulence. This Truth, did not leave us alone, without help, drifting, lost on our own. He loved us and loves us present tense, so tenderly as to never leave us alone. He is with us in the Eucharist, He is among us. This truth is humble, this truth is silent, unimposing, puzzling to those who do not know His voice and unappreciated by those who feel uncomfortable by His presence. He does not force others to adhere to the truth. We can receive Him or reject Him, we can embrace Him and draw close to Him or condemn him and push away from Him and silence the voice of God in our hearts, or ...we can listen to truth. To listen is more than just to hear, it is to act on what I hear. To listen to the voice of truth, is to hear and obey the truth from the heart and to embrace it - choose it. The liar often times makes out truth " to be a robber - a thief" who will steal from my heart my "precious" " freedom, independence, pleasures etc." In the Gospel this past week, Jesus mentions how often the temple becomes a den of thieves and robbers instead of a house of prayer. Our heart is where Truth speaks and truth can be "stolen" from our hearts, by listening to lies. "Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." To listen to His voice, is to allow truth to reign in me, to rule me and essentially to liberate me with the reign of peace.
I may loose some of my friends, I may become unpopular. I may find that something in my life must radically change. I may realize I cannot continue as I have been, doing what I am doing. Truth moves us to change, it draws one into the tribunal of the heart, where God lives and dwells, who knows all my thoughts and above all, loves me. The more we listen to His voice, the more we are guided by this truth and it becomes the deepest source of peace, that is not easily shaken.
1.) What am I so fearful about today in my life?
2.) What am I "burying?" have I brought it to the Lord? Have I allowed His mercy to wash me clean and set me free again in His peace.
3.) Today in my life, what is the Lord leading me to look at with Him, in the light of His love? Maybe it is a relationship that needs to be ordered differently, maybe it is something I need to let go of, detach from. Maybe the truth has a deeper root to it that I need to look at with Jesus.
"There is a famine in America, not a famine of food, but of truth, of love and of life" (Mother Teresa)