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The Furnace - Archdiocese of Sydney 18th April 2020
A world without Truth is a dangerous one (Easter Saturday)
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A world without Truth is a dangerous one (Easter Saturday)

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

Truth. Obviously a world removed from truth is an extremely dangerous one - where the basis of our decisions is not reality, but rather convenient fantasies. The humiliating murder of Christ, centuries of atheistic ideology, and the horrors suffered by innocents today show how human dignity is devoured when truth is abandoned. Having personally and perfectly suffered the effects of this, Jesus in his first words to the apostles understandably commissions them to be emissaries and guardians of truth: a mission Christ holds every Christian to, to this day. ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation.’, Jesus commands today.  

Obviously not everyone in the Church is doing this so well. Even the apostles, those who knew and were taught by Jesus for three years, did not believe! She then went to those who had been his companions, and who were mourning and in tears, and told them. But they did not believe her when they heard her say that he was alive and that she had seen him. All of us are fallen, so it is not surprising to find Christians who are too, even gravely so. But it is always more scandalous when any Christian has been found to be at the service of hidden lies and dark secrets. Such acts on our part greatly anger Jesus: He reproached them for their incredulity and obstinacy, because they had refused to believe. And rightly so. 

Yet following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the apostles are not so doubtful or cowardly - even when warned by the authorities not to tell the truth: So they called them in and gave them a warning on no account to make statements or to teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John retorted, ‘You must judge whether in God’s eyes it is right to listen to you and not to God. We cannot promise to stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard.’ To the extent we don't abandon ourselves to the gift of the Holy Spirit, we will always find it harder to tell the truth. That's our solemn duty as Christians: to beg the Holy Spirit to convert and transform us daily, to remove the evil within us, so that despite our weakness, we are overcome by his fire and light and ever increasingly radiate Divine and immovable truth, beauty, goodness and love in all we do.

And praying daily to the Holy Spirit really works. How was Pope St John Paul II such an effective mover of hearts and of history? From the time I was little, I learned to pray to the Holy Spirit. When I was 11, I was feeling sad because I was having a lot of trouble with math. My dad showed me in a little book the hymn “Veni Creator Spiritus,” and he told me, “Pray this and you’ll see that He’ll help you to understand.” I’ve been praying this hymn every day for more than 40 years, and I’ve seen how much the Divine Spirit helps us.

This is helpful for us who are locked down at home: for there are no locks to the Holy Spirit! And we need to repent and convert: the whole Church on earth too. In these days leading up to Pentecost, and for the rest of our life, let us choose some way of abandoning ourselves and our day to the work and will of the Holy Spirit, so that we might ever more radiate the life-giving truth which underpins all being.

Let us pray:

O God, who by the abundance of your grace

give increase to the peoples who believe in you,

look with favour on those you have chosen

and clothe with blessed immortality

those reborn through the Sacrament of Baptism.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.