From this weekend’s Gospel reading (John 3:14-21).
“And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.”
While he was on earth, Jesus declared himself to be “the way, the truth and the life.”
And yet so often, even as Christians, we make our own way, define our own truth, and live our lives on our own terms. In extreme cases, a kind of double life can result, in which we cultivate certain habits and ideas in our weekday lives that we do our best to keep hidden on Sundays.
Sometimes the duplicity is obvious — as plain as a computer screen, or the bruise on a spouse’s cheek. Other times, the problem is more subtle, or couched in spiritual-sounding terms. The church gossip heads the “intercession team” or prayer chain. Harsh directives masquerade as “spiritual leadership.” Church hopping every couple of months “as the Lord leads” is a great way to make sure no one gets too close, or makes too many demands.
Can we ever be truly transformed interiorly if we are unwilling to relinquish our most strongly held opinions … in light of revealed truth? Not “truth as I see it” but “truth as it has been passed down for two thousand years to the present moment.”
I don’t know if you’ll notice this, but I’ve edited down my original post here. It was too finger-wagging, too harsh. Just yesterday I was visited by a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses in their twenties who reminded me so much of what I was like in MY twenties … so earnest, so zealous, so (dare I say it) persuaded of their own handle on truth.
So I told them mine: The time will come — sooner or later, it comes for everyone — when doctrine alone will fail to satisfy you. When you need more. When you want to sit in God’s presence and just be.
And when that happens, know that God will meet you there … and take you the rest of the way. He’s given us the sacraments, and He’s given us a whole world full of faith-filled brothers and sisters to stand with us when the chips are down. Trust God to guide you where you need to be.
Is there some area of your life right now that could use a little more light? 00