Today’s Gospel: John 17:11B-19
Jesus prays for all of us to go out into the world and to be sanctified with truth, and protected from the evil one. In our modern times, when truth is perceived to be relative and speaking truth is very unpopular, this message is still timeless. This is also a time, more than previous histories of civilizations when people no longer identify evil. How does one protect themselves from an entity that is not thought to exist? Relativism is a poison and truth is the cure. Sometimes speaking truth is hard. Sometimes it feels like we live in a world where there’s work politics or family politics or some other sort of discomfort that makes us step back from speaking the truth we know we should speak. The Lord is praying for us in these times to have the fortitude to remember the Word and that we do not belong to this world.
There have been many times where I have felt called to speak a truth – either a truth about how immoral choices are the cause of someone’s unhappiness that they are sharing, or speak a truth defending the faith – and not felt “equipped” to provide a full theological defense. When cowardice or fear get us down, that is the evil one. When we put forth what we know as the truth with humility and pray to the Holy Spirit for assistance, that is us fulfilling Jesus’ prayer.
I recall a time long ago where I was in an academic setting at my university and there was an assistant dean who could sometimes be gruff and grumpy and aloof. His daughter died suddenly. Everyone sent condolences. I somehow, had an urging to do something more. I had no idea his religious belief, or if he had any. I felt a fear that if I stepped out he could put barriers in my future – in a place where things were political – I could be shooting myself in the foot. I still listened to that inner voice and went out on a limb. I sent him a card, along with some spiritual writing that I had done. I was relieved once I finally pushed it under his door, where even if I wanted to take it back, I couldn’t. I had listened to that voice and I had faith that I was sharing what I was supposed to. I was released from my fear.
A little while later, I heard from the man: he wanted to meet me in his office. The fear came back temporarily, but then I met him. I had touched his heart. He was crying. Little did I know, he had recently converted to the Catholic faith and the words I shared had been a healing balm for him.
We do not belong to the world.
Has there been a time in your life when you courageously spoke up and confronted evil or shared the truth? How did it make you feel? How can you prayerfully get ready for a situation like that again?
Lord, let me discern the truth and when to speak the truth. Give me the courage to speak up rather than rest in the comforts of this world. Remind me that I lack nothing, when I speak Your words.
Copyright 2018 Meg Herriot
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