This year I was struck by the force of the words in the Gospel “to bear witness to the truth.” Why? Perhaps it was because of the release of so many truths hidden from us since 1915, even though I had read much and travelled to see with my own eyes. Like you, we are all, maybe, aware that ‘truth is the first casualty in time of war.’ Then there has been the saga of ‘false news’ plaguing our airways and print media. And another…we are voting for Government in Victoria this weekend. Truth, like Pilate said, “what is truth?” Our Upper House ballot paper is, in a sense, mute testimony to the varieties of perceived truth in our community at this moment.
In the wake of the Royal Commissions into all styles of institutions, and external examinations of social and sporting associations, one can readily appreciate community scepticism about finding the truth. Will the truth set us free?
That is where we come in!
Whatever Jesus meant when he revealed at his trial that he came into the world to bear witness to the truth (some say it was to reveal the true nature of God expressed in the concept of the Good Shepherd) and if so, then that is the most important truth that all peoples need to be aware of. Jesus was calling all to recognise that truth and then asking us to be similar witnesses.
I see the call to us today, to be women and men who constantly search out the truth; who speak the truth as they see it without fear but with respect. At this time for us, witnesses to Christ via our Baptism and subsequent commitment, we need to speak the truth as we see it to our Church. We trust that our sayings will not be brushed aside as happened at that trial in Jerusalem. Pilate, after all, was demonstrating that he had not heard the word to “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” We have heard that word, we should not let any perception or fear of possible inaction, prevent us from speaking the truth.
At the end of this liturgical year may each present to Christ our moments when we brought a little light to our world, a little peace to our neighbour and a little truth to our world.
So ends the 2018 liturgical year. If acceptable I will try to put on the new hat for 2019. Ideas and observations are welcomed. And if you wish to continue, to a varied group of people in movements like Teams, The Cardijn Community, travellers on the Way, a very happy Advent.