It’s pretty strange that sometimes contradictions that can actually help to recognise the truth!
If there is a similar looking pair of twins… how does one distinguish one from the other?
>> Obviously… we look into certain contradictions in the two – in appearance, in voice, in behaviour etc – to spot rightly, who is who.
If there are two similar appearing chains of gold… how does one distinguish the true one from the fake?
>> Obviously… we look into certain contradictions in the two, – the lustre, the hardness – to spot rightly, which is true and which is false.
Georges Bataille, a French intellectual and literary figure writes, “I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction”
This fact is clearly demonstrated in the life of Jesus – the Truth Incarnate.
>> He lived a life of contradictions.
>> He lived a life of paradox.
And therefore Christ had to undergo varied responses from those who encountered Him…
… very few understood Him, a little
… many of them failed to understand Him
… many of them even badly misunderstood Him
He remained The Truth – yet, the sign of contradiction.
The Gospel of the Day presents this deep contradiction that was experienced by the people of His time – including the religious leaders.
The passage records two conversations:
• The first one among the crowd
• The second one among the chief priests and the Pharisees
Both have a similar subject: Jesus.
Both have a similar dilemma: Confusion about Jesus.
The people in the crowd were confused in recognizing who really Jesus was.
>> The words of the Lord were so authoritative and astonishing that some considered Him as a prophet revisited and some even seeing Him as the Messiah (Jn 7:41).
However, others were not convinced and they began to debate on the origin of the Messiah.
The second conversation, between the chief priests and Pharisees, was not just about some personal opinions, but involved the proper following of the Law as well.
Nicodemus, the one who had met Jesus, one night, however , began to defend Jesus.
>> It was to him, that Jesus, on that night, had told, one of the most loved verses, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son; that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16)
After his encounter with the Truth-Incarnate, Nicodemus….
… the genuine seeker of truth, had the spark in his heart, kindled by the Lord of Love.
… the honest searcher of reality, had the longing within, nourished by the Lord of Holiness.
And so he stood firm and bold, to defend the One whom he perceived as the Truth!
But here, one also gets to see the deep hatred that was grooming in the minds of the leaders…
Nicodemus told that, in judging Jesus, it was necessary to follow the Law properly: “Does our law condemn a person, before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” (Jn 7:51)
He did not say that he agreed with Jesus…
He did not say that he denied Jesus could be a criminal…
>> All he said was to follow the law – to be just and fair!
But that statement provoked the anger of the other blinded-and-obstinate religious leaders!
The forces of confusion and dilemma watered him down, and contradictions reigned galore!
>> Where there is the proclamation of truth, there is the presence of many false screams, seeking to drown it hard!
>> Where there is the defence of truth, there is the defiance of many evil forces, wanting to do away with it!
Jesus is a sign of contractions.
He is The Truth.
• In His presence, no lie can stand.
• In His presence, no evil can withstand.
But it is this confusion, that can lead a person to understand the reality, if one is open and honest!
Yes, it’s pretty strange that sometimes contradictions that can actually help us to recognize The Truth!
G.K. Chesterton has said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”
The Lord – the Truth Incarnate is ready to reveal Himself to those open at heart and honest in seeking Him.
• Are we ready to learn more from Him and to know Him more?
• Are we ready to draw the waters of Holiness from the Fountain of Truth?
• Are we ready to blaze our lives with the fire of passionate love from the Furnace of Truth?
Let us not be…
… confused by the Lord who was the sign of contradiction.
… puzzled by the Lord who was the sign of paradoxes.
Instead, let us be…
… convinced in the Lord of Truth!
… passionate for the Lord of Truth!
God bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ There are three things we must do to be at peace…
… have a pure intention to desire the honour and glory of God in all things
… do the little that we can, unto that end, following the advice of our spiritual father
… and leave all the rest, to God’s Care!”