22 Sunday in Ordinary Time
MK 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
September 2, 2018
In the political arena, the expression: Speak Truth to Power has become quite popular. It seems to describe the need to challenge authority when leaders are misguided, or in error. I wonder how often this approach is tolerated in the corporate world?
The term Speak Truth to Power is not new. It was the title of a publication issued by the Quakers in 1955. Speak Truth to Power: A Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence expressed the belief that humankind can live in peace if we suppress hatred with love. While the expression is from the 20th century, the concept is as old as The Bible. Consider the opening line of John’s Gospel:
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race.
“The Word” that John is talking about is Jesus Christ…God’s Eternal Word made Flesh. And “The Word” is Truth. Remember? Jesus called Himself “The Truth.”
Soon after creation, however, came the opposite of truth. Lies, falsehoods, deceit, and hypocrisy took root in The Garden with those fateful words hissed by a snake: You will not surely die! God knows well that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God.
That first lie took root in the garden and thrived, spreading aggressively throughout human history. Tragically, we have reached the point where one of our political leaders has told us: truth isn’t truth, a statement that is especially dangerous in that it comes alarmingly close to a denial of Christ…Who IS Truth!
And so our Readings for this 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time are not only timely and relevant, but especially important. In the Gospel, we hear Jesus, as He did on many occasions, Speak Truth to Power. Calling out religious leaders for their hypocrisy, the Lord strikes a blow against lies. No one likes to be called a liar…especially those guilty of lying.
Possibly, the take-away from these three Readings is that through Jesus Christ, Power IS Speaking Truth to the Powerless. The Power of The Almighty, recognizing how vulnerable human beings are to lies, through Jesus Christ, has spoken The Truth into our minds and our hearts. When we humbly welcome and live The Truth…when we Live Jesus…then love overpowers hatred, envy, ambition, greed, and deceit, and we can live in peace…The Peace of Christ!
Power has Spoken Truth…and it is for us to listen to and then live The Truth.