- Father David M. Knight
Father David's Reflection for Monday of Holy Week
The Responsorial Psalm associates salvation with knowledge of the truth: "The Lord is my light and my
salvation" (Psalm 27). To grow into the fullness of the divine life Jesus gives us, we need to be disciples.
In Isaiah 42: 1-7 God proclaims the wisdom of the Messiah "upon whom I have my Spirit." With gentleness and patience he will "establish justice on earth; and the coastlands will wait for his teaching." He will give life through light: "I set you as a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out... those who live in darkness."
Humanity first fell into sin through deception: "God said to the woman, 'What is this that you have done?' The woman said, 'The serpent tricked me, and I ate'" (see Genesis 3: 13). Jesus himself said that the devil "does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44).
Jesus came to "teach the way of God in accordance with truth" (Matthew 22:16). And he said it was precisely " because I tell the truth, that you do not believe me." This is why he was killed (John 8: 40, 45).
The mark of Jesus' disciples is that they truly desire to know the truth. Jesus said this to Pilate: "Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice" (John 18:37). Jesus prayed for his disciples because "they have received [my words] and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me." What he asked for them was that they might be dedicated to the truth and made holy by it: "Sanctify them in the truth" (John 17: 8, 17).
Luke 12: 1-11 shows us that those who do not want to accept the truth will deny it in spite of all evidence. And they will go to any lengths to prevent others from accepting it. The "chief priests" and the power structure in Israel refused to believe even after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead; and they "planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus."
Discipleship can lead us to death, including the small deaths of the sacrifices it calls us to make, but it is the only way of life. Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (John 14: 6). Do we believe in his truth enough to follow his way through many small deaths into the fullness of life? That is discipleship.
Initiative: Be a disciple. Commit yourself to the truth, regardless of consequences. Believe that the truth of Jesus is the only way that leads to life.