Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Lectionary: 299


I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil One.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth.
Your word is truth.


I often discuss with Veterans in the substance abuse recovery program the value of speaking the truth. There are practical advantages, such as: “When you always tell the truth you don’t have to remember the several different stories you told to several different people.” Life is so much easier that way.

I think of truth as a safe place where we can be together. When two or more people always speak the truth to one another they can relax with one another. There’s no suspicion or guardedness. If it’s important it will be said. If it’s true it is welcome.

People who love the truth shelter one another in a world that belongs to the Evil One. Out there we don’t know what might be said and we cannot know with any certainty who can be trusted. Jesus does not pray that we should be taken from that world. He does better; he consecrates them in the truth.

Truth is a relationship; untruth is unreality. There is no firm anchor in untruth and the mind wanders through that place like a thirsty refugee in a desert. Without reliable landmarks or direction posts, there is no hope for deliverance.

Relating in truth to the Lord and one another, we blossom as persons. Not only do I know myself, I know my friend. Not only do I know my friend, I know myself. There is a synergy in honest friendship which builds up – (that is, edifies, Latin root: to build as in edifice) – each party. Not only do they become healthier, stronger and happier; they also reach out beyond themselves in truth to others. Grounded in community they can pull lost souls out of the turbulent water of chaos.

Jesus sent his disciples two by two to announce the gospel because two people could support one another synergistically as they encountered opposition. By their frequent prayer, their intimate conversation and their practice of joy they could survive attacks from the skeptical and the hostile.

I also remind the Veterans that, when two people speak the truth, there is a third unseen witness who validates everything they say. That witness substantiates their relationship, meaning “giving substance” to their friendship. (That word substance is the foundation of the recently restored consubstantial in our Nicene Creed. Because the Father speaks the truth in love to the Son, and the Son is the spoken truth of the Father, the Holy Spirit between them is Truth.)

In today’s gospel we hear Jesus consecrate us in the truth that abides between himself and the Father. There is no safer place in the universe where we might share his joy completely.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.