TRUTH, JUSTICE, RIGHTEOUSNESS: A HOMILY ON MONDAY OF THE SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER, BY FR. IFEANYICHUKWU HENRY NWOKORO, ST. ANTHONY’S UITENHAGE
There is a strong connection between the words truth, justice and righteousness. Justice is the committment to set things right. We cannot set things right if we dont know the truth. If we know the truth, then we will live the truth in righteousness.
LYDIA SEEKS THE TRUTH AND LISTENED WITH HER HEART
Setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is the leaving city of the district of Macedonia, and a roman colony. We remained in this city some days; and on the sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, fromm the city of Thyatria, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to listen to what was said by Paul. And when she was baptised, with her household, she begged us, sayin, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.: We are easily decieved by lies. If the disciples went about telling people what they wanted to hear, they would have had many followers and listeners. But the truth they speak can only be heard by a listener. We hear with our ears, but we listen with our hearts. Sometimes we could listen with closed hearts and this will not really be to listen. We listen properly when our hearts are opened. What it means to open one’s heart is to listen without a specific expecation. If we listen with a specific expectation we will only hear what we want to hear and this way, the truth can elude us. The one who seeks Justice first weeks the truth, because there can be no justice where there is no truth. You have to know the truth in order to give a just judgment and decide how to set things right.
THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, THE ADVOCATE
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “When the Counsellor comes, whom I shall sent to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning. I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them.: People generally do not decide to become evil and do wrong things. Usually, those who do evil would often have a good reason to do so. Even those who killed Christ thought they were doing a religious duty. They heard him preach, but they had their own expectations of how things should be and since Jesus did not say things according to these expectations, they refused to believe him. The heard with their ears, but they did not listen with an open heart. Jesus promises us the Spirit of truth. This Spirit will not be imposed on us. We have to always pray for the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth to be with us always, to guide our feet in the way of righteousness, in the way of Justice. Jesus describes Himself as the Way, the Truth and the Life. As we recieve him in Holy Communion, may he be the truth that sets us free. We already know the truth, because we are Catholics. To live the Catholic faith is to live the truth, because the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth.