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BUILDING YOUR FAITH ON TRUTH

Father Francis's picture
Eighth Week of Ordinary Time

Jude 17, 20-25 & Mk. 11:27-33

An elderly man lay dying. Calling his grandson he shared with him the wisdom of his years. 'In all you do, seek the truth, not money because it cannot last, not fame because it will pass, not love for in love you can be deceived. Seek truth and you will find God, and in finding God you will find perfect love.'

Jesus on the night before He died told His disciples, “The truth will set you free.” The truth, indeed, does set us free from error and confusion to find God, and to love Him. But it is no easy task. Writing in about 80 A.D. St. Jude recognised some of the difficulties. Even at that early date the teachings of Jesus, as passed on by the Apostles, had become obscure for some people. Some had doubts and were falling away, and others were perverting the truth or teaching error.

Where is the truth to be found? St. Jude tells us it is to be found in Jesus. If we have faith in Him and the Church we shall have a firm foundation on which to build, Jesus promised that the Church would always teach the truth when He said the gates of Hell will never prevail against it. It is the duty of the Church to be ever vigilant about the truth. There are some who would like to water down the truth, who feel that the Church at times has been too conservative. It is true that theological scholarship must continue, that new insights are possible, but there are limits set by divine revelation, and the Church is bound in conscience to indicate those limits.

The Catholic Church cannot accept the position that 'anything goes' which seems to be the case in other Churches. Some of their leaders will ordain practising gay men or divorced men and women, while other leaders take the opposite view. And what of the dogmas of their faith like the resurrection of Christ which some believe but others do not? Can you imagine how confused this must leave the lay people in those Churches?
We should all be grateful for the authority of the Catholic Church that leads us into the truth and doesn't leave us to make up our own minds. What a comfort it is that the Church is there to safeguard and preserve the truth. Those words of the old man to his grandson are so true!

For the fourth time, as recorded in the Gospels, Jesus during His public ministry enters Jerusalem and the temple. All He wants to do is good, but so often there are some who want to interfere. This I think is the work of the Devil, always sowing the seeds of disharmony. As Jesus walks into the open courts of the temple, some of the city leaders come to Him and confront Him in a hostile manner. They want to know from Jesus by what authority He stopped the buying and selling of things needed for sacrifice and worship on the temple premises. But Jesus will answer them only if they first answer His question, an established practice among Jewish rabbis. It forces the leaders to look at their own lack of faith in God, which is at the root of their hostility towards His actions in the temple.

When they refuse to answer Him, Jesus declines to answer their question about the source of His own authority. Like all the others who see what Jesus does and hear what He teaches, they must decide for themselves whether Jesus is truly from God and acting with God's authority. Has He really been sent to reveal God's power in the world? They know the answer but tragically fail to follow Jesus and give their allegiance to Him their Messiah.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the spirit of boldness and firmness Your Son exhibits in His dealing with His detractors. By Your Spirit help us also to stand firm in our belief in Jesus and in His saving presence in the world.

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