His melanoma had been diagnosed in 2004; surgery on his upper back left a gaping hole as if he had been blasted in the back with a cannonball. My father was pretty upset after the surgery . . . mad he allowed my sister and me to convince him to have the melanoma removed. When a new lesion was found and diagnosed as malignant metastatic melanoma on his leg early 2005, he was in complete denial. The results of the PET scan came on my birthday. My father's cancer had metastasized to his brain, lungs, and bones. Having forced my father to have this scan done, he blew off the results. "Doctors are only out to make money," he would say. This was in April 2005. By September, he was living in my home, completely wheelchair-bound. A few weeks before his death in January 2006, he asked me if he would be in his own apartment again. This was an important moment for my dad and me . . . he knew he would get the full, unedited truth from me . . . no sugarcoating. Finally, in the end, he was ready to accept the truth. I told him no, he would be spending the rest of his days with us here. I promised him we would be by his side the entire time. He quietly said "OK" and we continued to discuss the Super Bowl. There comes a time, hopefully sooner rather than later, we all need to accept the truth. Truth in our human condition. Truth in what Sacred Scripture tells us. Truth in what the Volumes reveal.
In today's Gospel (John 5:31-47), Jesus asks us to accept the Truth:
Jesus said to the Jews: “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true. But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true. You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf. But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life.
“I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
In Anne's book Staying in Place, the following quote is clear . . . understanding Christ allows us to accept our own truth:
"Clearly, love is different from what people initially think when they hear the word. Love is vaster. Love demands a response and an honest acknowledgment of both frailty and vulnerability. We love with hearts that have been broken or with hearts that will be broken. Christ’s heart was broken at falseness, inconsistency and betrayal. We want to be as faithful as Christ was in our love for God in each other. But we must accept that we will fall short. If we have a full grasp of our teachings, we can negotiate our weaknesses, always striving for growth. But without each vocation integrating the teachings actively and ‘out loud’, so to speak, nobody really knows what this Christianity of ours is supposed to look like."
Lay apostles, have you accepted the Truth? Do you believe what you read in Sacred Scripture or do you look at it as the ramblings of a distant past? Read the Volumes to help you make sense of it all. The Gospel will begin to resonate deep within instead of in one ear and out the other.
Thank you, Lord, for Your Words in the Volumes. They have made the Bible come alive for me.