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“O God, who shows the light of your truth
to those who go astray please give them (and us)
the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Your Son.”
(Opening Prayer)

“In Christ you also, who have heard the
Word of truth – the gospel of your salvation-
are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”
(Ephesians 1:13)

As I was preparing the Homily, the word that caught my attention was “truth.” I thought about the scene where Pilate and Jesus meet after Jesus is arrested. Jesus said to Pilate: 
“I came into the world to testify to the truth” (John 18:37)
Let’s take a look at this essential aspect of our faith: truth.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, truth is understood in terms of personal commitment to the Author of truth: God.
In the New Testament, truth is synonymous with righteousness as an important attribute of one’s character and conduct. In terms of Jesus, he is referred to as:
“the true light” who gives light to others (John 1:9)
“the true vine” of which we are the branches (John 15:1)
Jesus tells the Apostle, Thomas, that he is the “way, the truth, and the life (John 14:5-6)
His body is true food and his blood is true drink (John 6:55)
The truth of the Gospel liberates us from sin. Jesus hears this 


from the Father and tells it to us. He came to witness to the truth of God’s love and mercy. He prayed that his disciples (which includes you and me) – who we hear in today’s Gospel were sent two-by-two to preach the Good News and to heal people of their “unclean spirits” (what we might understand today as addictions, vices, and various kinds of sin) – would stay committed to the truth regardless of the reaction of their listeners; which Jesus himself did throughout his life.

II.  How does the concept of truth relate to us. Two basic ways:

A) The primary truth is that God loves each one of us in a very personal, intimate way. St. Augustine wrote: “God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us.”

Irish Jesuit, Peter Hannan wrote: “The image of God in us is primarily a potential to take in the love of God.” That is,

there is a kind of ‘well’ in us that deepens and expands as we grow in our commitment to living the values of the gospel.

B) Secondly, the truth of God’s mercy. God, Who is rich in mercy, “shows the light of truth to those who go astray”; shows us the “right path.”

This, of course, demands a commitment of responsibility on our part – to do our best to avoid the occasion of sin.

The best treatment of this that I have seen comes in the form of an allegory and was composed by a woman named Portia Nelson.


Chapter One:
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost…..I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in….it is a habit….but my
eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four:
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five:
I walk down another street.


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