‘Lord, you bring the dead to life and what is broken you restore.’
Pontius Pilate sarcastically asked Jesus: “what is the truth?” Verily, verily (truthfully) I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin (John 8:32). Jesus was saying that He and His word are the keys that unlock the ultimate bondage of sin and sets us free. Jesus is the Messiah and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy and the divine inspiration of the New Testament Gospel. Sin is a habitual lifestyle that leads us away from God and handcuffs the heart and soul of man and woman and blinds us to the main goal of this life, which is preparation for being with God eternally in the next life. Saying yes or no to the truth of God and His Word is the most important question not only for every person but also for every nation and culture in the world.
My generation, the generation which came of age in the 1960’s, had a saying: “it is forbidden to forbid.” For many, this slogan has now become the preamble for today’s secular culture as well. When nothing is sacred, nothing is forbidden and moral and social anarchy reign. The Christian religion, when genuinely preached and practiced, tells us what to do and just as importantly, what is not to be done. After shoving aside the “Truth” as Jesus taught, modern culture has tried/is trying to replace the virtues of self-control, self-denial and charity toward others with a dangerous and futile effort of unbridled individualism free from all human and spiritual obligation.
Today, we seem to be living on the far side of truth and common sense that guided our parents and grandparents. Instead of passing down the wisdom and lessons of the ages, we seek to remake the world in our “new and own” self-image, which leads us to confusion, anxiety and despair; science replaces religion. Scientific and technological marvels may reveal secrets of nature previously unknown, but neither has a moral purpose to guide its discoveries and techniques. Science cannot sort out for us how to use its discoveries for the common good. Science is beholden to whomever is in power. We cannot simply “follow the science” because the science follows us:
“If there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, ideas and convictions can be easily manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.” (JP II)
New diseases, the same economic hardships, family breakdown and separations, as well as bitter political turmoil, cannot be solved without God’s help, which allows us to live in harmony with our fellow human beings. Rejection of God’s master plan for us only leads to a frantic and endless search for an all-explaining theory that will save us from a dreadful future. This effort will certainly fail. There will never be a technological utopia.
The answer to our dilemma is simple faith. Only through our recognition and acceptance of the Glory of God, who sent His Son, His Word, the Lord Jesus Christ who revealed to us “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” can we be saved from ourselves. Right now, our cultural ship is sinking and we need the anchor of faith – the good Lord Jesus, our loving and merciful Savior extends His hands and love to us. Jesus, our patient and merciful Creator, waits for us to come to terms with the reality of seeing the human condition as it really is. He waits for us to put away our foolish human pride and delusions of heaven on earth. We should thank the Lord every day and night for giving us the ‘Truth’ of the Gospels. We should thank Him for showing us the dangerous path of living a life only for ourselves or following the delusions of those who think they know more than God and believe they have found a better way out of life’s dilemmas. Jesus beckons us to come to the real world of faith in God and charity for our neighbors. Let us thank the Lord Jesus for showing us “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” that sets us free. The Truth – nothing more and nothing less and needing nothing else but the ‘Truth’!
Wendell Jeanpierre Sept. 2021 Lecturer