Telling the Truth

From Fr. Mark D. White on ACHILLES AND HIS GOLD

Lord Jesus quoted this verse to describe what will happen at the end of time. Anyone know where the verse originally comes from? Correct: the prophet Daniel. “You will see the Son of Man, coming on the clouds of heaven.” Now, let’s see who really knows the gospels. Did the Lord Jesus ever quote that verse again? [Spanish]

Correct. On Holy Thursday night, at His “trial” before the Sanhedrin. What crime did the accusers allege? Correct: Blasphemy.

So the high priest asked Jesus, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of God?” And we can say: When the Lord answered by quoting Daniel 7:13, He spoke the decisive words of His life. He bore witness to the truth about Himself. It cost Him everything.

Are you the Messiah? “Yes, I am. And you will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.” Indeed, we will see Him, the eternal Word of God’s divine love. He gave His life on the cross to assure us of the truth of these words. To give us hope and eternal life in Him.

This is our redemption from sin. Lord Jesus offered Himself in sacrifice for us, the perfect sinless Lamb accepting death to save us sinners. We come to know about the Redemption as an objective fact. Something that God has done for us, before we ever did anything good at all.

Michelangelo’s Daniel

But let’s not leave the Redemption “outside ourselves,” so to speak. To participate in it, we have to let Christ’s perfect honesty about Himself make us more honest.

Christ’s sacrifice of His life came to pass because: He would not fudge the truth in order to save His skin. It’s true that He didn’t walk around Palestine with a t-shirt or a cap that read, “Yes, I am your Messiah.” He had more discretion about His mystery than to do that. But when the high priest asked Him directly, before a room full of witnesses, the Lord did not hide the truth.

…The liturgical year draws to a close. Mother Nature lays down for winter. The readings at Holy Mass call to mind the ultimate end of all things.

Christ the Judge of all, the divine Justice Himself, submitted to giving testimony in a court convened to judge Him. Nothing required Him to answer; He answered for our sake.

On the other hand, we do have to answer for ourselves, in the end. We owe God an account for all our deeds, for our stewardship of His gifts, the greatest of which is: Me, myself.

Now, we sinners cannot answer for ourselves by claiming an A+ record. That comes as no surprise to Almighty God. He knows our weaknesses better than we do. We cannot lie to the One Who knows everything.

“Redemption” means: Just like Jesus spoke the truth about Himself to the Sanhedrin, I, too, can give an honest account of myself before God. Without fear. I can do it in the confessional. That will liberate me from having to face condemnation for my sins when I die.

You all know well enough that this past summer’s news about Theodore McCarrick has pretty much turned my life upside down. The fact that I received the sacrament of Holy Orders at the hands of a dishonest sexual predator, with a trail of ruined lives left in the shadows behind him.

I don’t bring this up for us to depress ourselves. I simply mean to draw a contrast. On the one side, a Cardinal Archbishop living a lie, having made a Faustian bargain with his own conscience. On the other side: the High Priest of the eternal covenant of real, honest love. Jesus Christ, bearing witness to the mysterious truth about Himself, knowing perfectly well that it will mean bitter suffering and death.

Let’s stand with Christ. He will come again in glory to judge. He who sees all, knows all, brooks no deception. He vindicates the rights of the innocent. Let us stand before Him without any subterfuges, admit our sins, and beg His tender mercy. He forgives.

For a Christian it’s never too late. Never too late to own up to the truth. Never too late to do the right thing. The Lord waits for us to repent and seek mercy. He waits until we breathe our last. He told the truth and died so that we could tell the truth and live.

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