Truth is quite a topic these days. Mostly because people choose to define truth in any way that suits them. Absolute truth is akin to authoritarianism and it’s the real death of any kind of conversation that would lead to conversion. It’s the kind of thing that of late has so many angry people thinking that the life of an ape is more important than the life of a child – how could anyone defend a position like that? When we allow ourselves to accept moral relativism, then any thing goes. Yet it is absolute truth that is at the center of today’s Liturgy of the Word.
Saint Paul exhorts his friend Timothy to be scrupulously careful to teach and defend the truth – “without deviation,” as he says at the end of today’s first reading. And we have to be that scrupulous in teaching truth, because the Truth is Christ. If we persevere in the Truth, we shall reign with Christ, but if we deny him he will deny us. Being denied by Christ our mediator and Savior is tantamount to eternal death. That’s what comes from deviating from the Truth.
Jesus brings the Truth to life in the Gospel reading by presenting us with the basis of all Christian life: love of God and love of neighbor. This is the Truth, it is the basis of the Gospel, it is the summation of all the law and the prophets, which is what the scribe was seeking of Jesus. If we accept this truth, we too will not be far from the Kingdom of God.