Friday, July 13, 2018
Today, in Mercy, we pray with the word “Truth”. The word appears 137 times in the Bible. God clearly has something to tell us about it!
A truth theme runs through today’s readings like a magnetic thread, drawing us to deeper self-understanding. Friday the 13th is a good day for that, don’t you think – a day fraught with superstitions and falsehoods?
When I was a teenager, my parents decided to wallpaper our living room. Dad, a master craftsman at just about any DIY project, had been physically incapacitated by several heart attacks. So, while he was the architect, I was the contractor for this home project.
Dad was an exact yet patient teacher. I learned how to cut, paste and match seams. I absorbed the craftsperson’s essential mantra: measure twice, cut once. Even the mysteries and miracles of Dad’s old, treasured toolbox were opened to me.
One morning, Dad said we had to “true up” a wall and that we were going to “drop a plumb line”. It was Greek to me. But he explained that no building is perfectly level. If we didn’t begin our papering from a leveled line, we would end up feeling like our living room was a tilted funhouse.
Don’t you sometimes feel like our world is that funhouse? But it isn’t really very much fun, is it? We live in a time when information and communication are at our fingertips. Yet, we are confused by half-truths and distorted facts. We are assailed with propaganda and cyber-manipulation. We are fed a diet of constant cabled lies AND we consume them to satisfy our biases. Even in our personal lives, we may be undercut by false friends and masquerading enemies. Like Pontius Pilate, we are left with the question, “Truth! What is “Truth”?
Today’s readings drop a plumb line into that skewed world.
- Hosea tells us, “Straight are the paths of the Lord; in them the just walk.”
- Our Psalm implores God to create in us a true heart.
- Our Gospel tells us that, even in the midst of deceit, that true heart will be guided by the Holy Spirit.
On this Friday the 13th, we can start by truing up our own spirits. Let’s pray for the grace today to be true friends – not fair weather; true patriots – not nationalists; true believers – not Pharisees.
Behold, you are pleased with sincerity of heart,
and in my inmost being you teach me wisdom.
Cleanse me of sin with hyssop, that I may be purified;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
(from today’s Psalm)
Music: Change My Heart, O God! – Maranatha Music