The Catholic Calendar for Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
St. Philip Neri, priest

Scripture from today’s Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 20:17-27
Psalm 68:10-11, 20-21
John 17:1-11a

A Reflection on today’s Sacred Scripture:

Now this is eternal life, that they should know You, the only true God and the one whom You sent, Jesus Christ. (John 17:3)

A saintly priest I knew, who died this year at the age of 92, persistently challenged his parishioners with the question, “How well do you know your God?”

Not a homily would end without his asking the question; yet not once did I think it could be meant for me. I truly believed that I had come to know my God very well. After all, in a few short years, I had studied Sacred Scripture, the Catechism, the liturgy, the lives of the saints — I did all I could to find answers to my infinite list of questions about who God is. Several chapters into the New Testament life of Jesus and I began to fall in love and form my personal relationship with Him. I had no doubt who my God was. My God was Love.

But recently, some personal struggles had caused me to falter. I tried uniting my sufferings to the greater ones Jesus had suffered. But nothing God had revealed to me in the past seemed to console me — not prayer, not Scripture, not even His Real Presence at Mass or Adoration. Where was my God, whom I had come to know so intimately?

After carefully studying today’s Gospel — the prayer Jesus prayed to the Father just before He was arrested — I realized that I had been lacking a full understanding, maybe even an acceptance, of who God is. God isn’t only Love.

God is Truth. When God reveals Himself to us, He is truthful, and the teaching that comes from Him is “true instruction.” (Catechism, Para. 217) When God sent His Son into the world, it was to bear witness to the truth. “We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know Him who is true.” (Catechism, paragraph 217, 1 John 5:20; cf. John 17:3)

Once we have the truth, we must trust in it with all our hearts, mind and strength — no matter what comes our way. The devil’s lies can tempt us to doubt God’s Word, God’s Kindness and God’s Faithfulness. But God’s Words are true, that’s why His promises to us come true. God is Truth, whose words cannot deceive. So if we really do trust, then we should never have reason to lose heart.

The question our beloved priest posed so often is one we must all ask ourselves in earnestness. How well do we know our God? We won’t even begin to know Him until we can trust in Truth itself.

– Elizabeth A. Tichvon | etichvon@comcast.net

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