We hear so much about truth these days—through TV, internet, radio, print, social media, friends—that the word itself seems to have lost its veritable meaning and in all the media’s search for truth we never seem to find it, its essence being left to the discriminating false judgment of individuals under the false pretense that belief establishes truth, an axiom which itself bears no truth at all. My believing something does not make it true and anyone who claims that something is “true for me” has made truth itself subjective, eliminating any objective reality. (Read those lines again before continuing.)
We Catholics often declare that “we believe that Jesus is truly present in the form of Bread and Wine,” a statement that seems to invite a reverse logic that if a person does not believe it then it is not true—as if to indicate that non-belief is not just a denial of the truth, but a declaration of it. Why all this discussion about truth? What I believe to be true is what governs my life (whether I realize it or not), so, for my life to be true, I must know the Truth, with a capital “T,” and that Truth is a person, not a thing.
In last week’s second reading, St. Peter defended the truth of the Transfiguration by his witness to it. In a similar way today, St. Paul states, “I speak the truth,” but laments over the fact that his fellow Jews—recipients of God’s care and goodness for centuries—reject the truth of His greatest gift to them: Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah.
Today’s Gospel has Peter testing the truth of his eyesight with a faith that is weak. He shows us a troublesome reality: knowing the truth is secondary to believing it.
Elijah finds truth, not in the cacophony of falling rocks, heavy winds, fire, or earthquakes, but in a whispering breeze.
In the Responsorial Psalm we hear the beautiful words of Psalm 85: Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven. These words are worth reading over and over again, contemplating them within the context of their prophetic reference to Jesus Christ, who declared Himself to be “the Way and the Truth and the Life” (Jn. 14:6). That, my friends, is the most inconvenient Truth – for the secular world – but, for us, it is the Way and the Life.