The Truth Will Set You Free!
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn. 8:32). There is nothing like the truth. When it is known and lived, reality is known and made manifest in the world. There are no distortions in the truth that was made known to us in Jesus Christ. Indeed, through his Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection, Jesus restored the truth in which God created the human race. In his truth alone do we find our freedom. He ‘IS’ the truth that sets us free.
We see where the lie has its origins when the Devil tells Eve that God didn’t want them to eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, because then they would be like him, that they would be “like” gods, and that they would be equal to God in that knowledge. The lie is nothing less than a tortuous distortion of the truth. It tries to appear as the truth, but has no truth within it. One old wag of a teacher of mine described lies in a very interesting way when he told us that to lie is to distort the ontological predicate, knowingly and purposefully. The ontological predicate is, simply, the verb “to be.” In other words, we lie when we say “is” when we know “is not.” Or vice versa. Do you see the point? The Devil is the Prince of Lies. He despises the truth, precisely because it is of God. When we choose to lie, we are in league with the Devil. There is no other way to think of it.
The truth is that when God made Adam and Eve, he made them in his own image and likeness. He made us “good.” But since the beginning, since The Fall, we have distorted that goodness by our sins. And the lie is always closely associated with our sins. When we sin consciously, we know that we are denying the truth, we are consciously distorting the Natural Law that God has written on every one of our hearts. We know this because we know, internally, how our conscience struggles mightily with our passions, to keep us on the right path, but O, how often our passions win out in the heat of the moment. When we sin, the truth that is written in our consciences, testifies against us and we feel the terrible pain of our guilt. Is it not our experience that when we get caught in our sins, we often add yet another lie to the ledger in a wild attempt to be freed from the suffering of the necessary punishment and penance? Do you see how we are not free in this? How the lie enslaves us through fear?
The truth that sets us free is found only in every action and word of Jesus Christ. In him there is no darkness. He is the light of the world. “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (Jn. 1:17). “Whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God” (Jn. 3:21). It is only when we begin to have that personal relationship with Jesus Christ that we begin to recover the truth of our humanity, the truth that we are children of the Living God, that he calls us, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, to come to the light of the truth by learning over our lifetimes how to live and to love as Jesus did. Why? Because we were made in truth, and we are not ourselves until we live in it again. We must keep our eyes on Jesus to know the truth. We must learn to listen in our hearts to the Spirit who is guiding us to the truth through our consciences. We must pray constantly, for it is through those “conversations” with God, that we are enlightened and encouraged to live in the truth shown to us by Jesus.
Lord, we are sick to death with the lie. Heal us and guard us against the snares of the Prince of Lies. Give us the courage to live the truth that you have shown us in your Son, Jesus Christ. Strengthen us to fight the good fight, to be willing to give our lives in service of the truth we have come to know in Jesus. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!
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