Have you found yourself in situations when saying the TRUTH or standing for the TRUTH sparked a quarrel, made you lose friends, made family members reject you? One of the most difficult things in life is telling the TRUTH to friends, family members, benefactors, boss, leaders and those older than you are. And so to maintain cordial relationships TRUTH must be sacrificed on "altars of tolerance, cordiality, collegiality, esprit de corps, etc!". But why is it so, you ask? Why is it dangerous identifying and standing with the Truth? Why are promoters of Truth victimised or unjustly persecuted? There's more that catches the eyes! If you're yet to understand this or you're presently going through this right now, read slowly what God has to say: 

Mark 6:17-29
Herod sent to have John arrested, and had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married. For John had told Herod, ‘It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife.’ As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him; but she was not able to, because Herod was afraid of John, knowing him to be a good and holy man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.

1. The TRUTH is NOT just mere words or statements about facts, rather the TRUTH is a PERSON and that person is Jesus, for He says in John 14:6 "I AM the Way,  the TRUTH and the LIFE." Truth is one of the qualities that defines the nature of God for another scripture says "Love and Truth (faithfulness) walks in the presence of God; Truth is God's garment" (Ps.89:14-15). Denying others the TRUTH is denying them JESUS which is tantamount to murder for you deny them LIFE! If for the sake of preserving the benefits of friendship you deny others the Truth you are selfish and not a worthy friend because you're nothing but a 'predator' preying on their generosity! Every child of God should know this! Hence, the duty of every Christian because in the Church of Christ is upheld and preserved the Truth (1Tim. 3:14-16). But why are you persecuted?
2. You are persecuted because Truth is like fire! Indeed, the Truth is fire because scripture tells us fire prepares the path of God burning his enemies on every side (Psalm 97:3). For this reason John the baptist was persecuted! He told the truth to Herod (something the scribes and pharisees who claim to uphold sound teaching of the Torah could not do). He stood for the Truth in words and deeds. He truly is a harbinger of Jesus in everything: in birth, in mission, in words and in martyrdom. He prepared the path for Jesus like fire preparing the path of God. We can say he became truth because he allowed the Truth to transform him. Hence when we say the truth always and stand for the truth (even when it affects or concerns us) we are transformed by the divine qualities of truth, and become more like God himself!

3. For this reason we affirm that Truth may be frustrated, denied, delayed, blocked but can never be destroyed or killed! Hence, those who live and die by the truth retain among other things the eternal inability to be destroyed which is eternal life.  For God makes them into a fortified city, into a pillar of iron and into a wall of  bronze, such that they will be fought but not defeated (Jer.1:19).
TASK: Make a VOW now to God to say the Truth always and to live by the Truth even when it affects you, not like Herod who likes to hear the Truth but cannot stand for it. Remember always that the pain or shame you feel whenever you are saying the TRUTH purifies your soul making you become like God- who is TRUTH per excellence.

Say 3 times: Jesus- The TRUTH- purify my soul and let my tongue proclaim the Truth always. Amen. May God blesso+ you & hear your prayers. Amen.

© Fr. SimOne Madu,OSJ

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