August 18, 2019: ​Reflection for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

by Ed McKibbin, Notre Dame Associate

Often today we hear people attempt to reason that there is really no universal truth, that truth in and of itself varies from person to person. Who are you to tell me who and what I should believe in, and how I should live my life?

One positive result of this rationale is that we may refrain from making judgments about people and how they choose to live their respective lives. We might better appreciate and value people for who they are.

However, in contrast, harm can occur when one turns to oneself for truth as opposed to the source of truth in today’s readings, Jesus. Jesus tells us that it will not always be easy, that his words and his teachings are not always going to bring peace to this earth. Jesus points out to us that sometimes even families will be divided as to their respective senses of truth. We see an account in the First Reading of Jeremiah being thrown into a cistern for teaching the people what Jeremiah believed to be the teachings of God. Jeremiah was ultimately saved from dying in the cistern. However, as Paul points out to us in the Second Reading, unlike Jeremiah, Jesus actually died for us at the hands of sinners as an example to not lose heart given that many of us will not have to go to the extreme of losing our lives due to our faith in Jesus Christ.

I think the point in all of this is that something so good for us is never easy. Jesus is our truth and our light, our source of happiness. We are called to share this with those of us with whom we regularly come into contact. It will not be easy, but we know that the more we succeed the more that we and those we touch will experience the truth and happiness that only Jesus can deliver. We live in a broken world where many are desperately searching for meaning. It is a world that needs the truth and light that Jesus will bring. It might sometimes cause the division that Jesus warns us of, but He knows that those who follow will find truth and fulfillment in this life and the next.