- Fr. George
Jesus as truth
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
I remember the first time that I visited the Holy Land in Jerusalem, I spent a lot of time in and around the Kidron Valley which is very, very small, by the way. There are olive trees near the Church of All Nations on the Mount of Olives that may date to the time of Christ. And I imagine what those trees have born witness to over the centuries, since the time of Christ? The destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD. The ancient olive orchard witnessed the city changing hands, with its outer wall extending ever more outward, between Muslims and Christians and then Israelis ... many times in some instances. And yet, my mind goes back to the little garden of Gethsemane, on the southeastern (I think) slope of the mount, and the night Jesus was handed over into the power of men who aimed at His destruction. Fear and a desire for power seem to go hand in glove with destruction, whether we are talking about Jerusalem, racial suppression, Wall Street, or nation-building. And yet, on the night before He was crucified, Jesus prays to God that the Father will "sanctify them [His little band of followers] in the truth. The truth, as Jesus understands it, is the word of God.
Jesus seems pretty big on truth as He sees it: discovering, discerning, exploring, and attempting to follow the will that we find in God's word. The truth is pretty hard to come by these days, as the narrative and accompanying spin of politicians, the media, world markets, and even religious leaders are hard to follow. We don't know who or what to believe anymore, if we ever truly did. We like things to be black and white, simple and understandable, and that is particularly hard in a modern world with lots of slick technology. This is not to say that the world doesn't offer us much that is good and much that has made life easier for many (air conditioning is pretty good, right?). Yet, the truth of God's love for us, sanctified and proven in Jesus Christ, is a real reason, the reason, for us to take heart, hope, and blessing into our daily and future lives. We have the truth of our Maker that tells us that, in Christ, we understand the truth: God loves us more than we could possibly understand, a love we should aspire to embrace and share. That is truth.