The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas – Jn 1:1-18 – Option 2
Today’s first reading contains an interesting phrase: Saint John tells his listeners “I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.” It ties in well with the end of the Gospel, where John says “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
Words, lies, and truth: these are the themes we see in the readings today. On the one hand, we can say that when we understand something, our mind produces a “word.” For instance, when I understand what cats or dogs are, I can use the word “cat” or “dog” to say, “Oh, that’s a cat!” or “Hey, that’s a dog!” Saint Thomas Aquinas says that, in the same way, from all eternity God has understood Himself perfectly, and so He has an eternal Word that is just like Him, which is why Jesus is called the “Word.” Since Jesus is the complete truth, we could also say that He is the Word of Truth, or Truth itself.
Commenting on the Gospel passage, Saint Augustine writes that, while we express our interior thoughts by means of words, there is a sort of interior word that remains hidden that reveals who or what we are. Saint Basil says that “Our outward word has some similarity to the Divine Word. For our word declares the whole conception of the mind; since what we conceive in the mind we bring out in word. Indeed our heart is as it were the source, and the uttered word the stream which flows therefrom.” In this sense, too, Jesus reveals the depths of the Father’s love for us: His love has a name, and it’s Jesus.
Yet, we can think of our own words: do they resemble the truth of Jesus Christ? Do they really reflect what we think and believe? John’s letter reminds us we can’t have it both ways: “I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.” You know the truth; you can’t plead ignorant or that you didn’t know, so don’t pretend like you are unaware. Live in the truth.
Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Word Incarnate, let us ask for the grace to imitate Jesus Christ by living in the truth.