“Being convinced in the Lord of Truth and passionate for the Lord of Truth!”
(Based on Jer 11:18-20 and Jn 7:40-52 – Saturday of the 4th Week in Lent)
Christianity and the teachings of the Catholic Church have baffled and amazed many people.
Some have even tried – even violently – to find alternatives for the same…
… only to realise, that a genuine search for the Truth would lead them to Christianity and the Catholic Church!
One such person who rejected Christianity for the sake of “finding the truth” was G.K. Chesterton.
Chesterton sought to formulate the one blanket philosophy that could explain everything as everything is…
… because he did not believe Christianity or any other modern worldview to be completely it.
He was after the “master key of philosophies,” for he was certain no one had yet found it.
Eventually he knitted together a philosophy that appeared to be wholly true and sane and sensible…
… only to discover that his discovered philosophy of sanity was, in fact, not his – it was the Truth already taught by the Church!
In his own words, “I tried to be some ten minutes in advance of the truth.
And I found that I was eighteen hundred years behind it!”
G.K. Chesterton would later say, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”
The Christian Ideal indeed demands living with convictions…
… in the midst of opposing views and interpretations.
Jesus, the Master – the Truth Incarnate – lived this life of conviction…
… and in the face of oppositions and worldly thought-patterns, He became a sign of “contradictions and 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!
Jeremiah, the Prophet foretold this “opposition to the Truth” that Jesus would encounter:
“But I was like a gentle lamb, led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me, they devised schemes, saying, ‘Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more!’” (Jer 11:18)
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!
Georges Bataille, a French intellectual and literary figure writes, “I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction”
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!
Let us reminded of the fact that a genuine search for the Truth would always lead to Christianity and the Catholic Church!
God bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
GOD REVEALS HIS NAME
God revealed Himself to His people Israel by making His Name known to them.
A name expresses a person’s essence and identity and the meaning of this person’s life.
God has a Name; He is not an anonymous force.
To disclose one’s name is to make oneself known to others…
… in a way it is to hand oneself over by becoming accessible
… capable of being known more intimately and addressed personally.
God revealed himself progressively and under different names to his people…
…. but the revelation that proved to be the fundamental one for both the Old and the New Covenants was the revelation of the Divine Name to Moses in the theophany of the burning bush
… on the threshold of the Exodus and of the covenant on Sinai. (CCC # 203-204)