Truth is quite a topic these days. Mostly because people choose to define truth in any way that suits them. Absolute truth is taken to be authoritarianism and it’s the real death of any kind of conversation that would lead to conversion. It’s the kind of thing that has some people valuing property over people, or pets over the unborn – so many things that if we really examined them, they don’t even make sense. When we allow ourselves to accept moral relativism, then anything 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. It’s not a good way to go, ever.
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. This is the Truth that we need in our world today. This truth would have us defeat racism and indifference by loving our brothers and sisters and ultimately loving God. This truth will change the world if we let it and if we proclaim it and live it. If we accept this truth, we too will not be far from the Kingdom of God.