A cliché goes, “The truth hurts.”
By experience, we know that this is true. However, we also know that only the truth sets a man free.
The truth is like a bitter pill that heals. Lying is a disease. Only the truth can restore to health anyone who is sick with lying.
The truth that Jesus had to leave His disciples was a big blow to the men who left everything to follow Him. They were sad. “Still”, Jesus said, “I must tell you the truth”. He had to go. Jesus did not give them a code to declassify. He spoke in the clearest terms about Himself.
Telling them the truth helped them face the issue squarely. Facing issues in life is the first step to conquering them and growing in maturity through them.
When the disciples confronted the issue about Jesus’ farewell, they realized that Jesus’ physical absence from them actually meant the presence of the same Jesus in each of them. From then on, they themselves became an alter Christus, “another Christ.” From then on, they would see Jesus no longer with their physical eyes but with their eyes of faith. The presence of Jesus made the apostles strive to be Jesus to one another and recognize Him in each other as well.
The absence of Jesus paved the way for His abiding presence. In John 17:24, did not Jesus pray to the Father that all those whom the Father gave Him be with Him always? And departing from their sight was part of the answer to this fervent prayer of His. For by vanishing from their midst, Jesus became present in their very midst. His own Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the living Principle of His life and power, the very Breath of God, came not only upon but also into the hearts of His disciples even as Jesus went away. Letting go of Jesus was like the bitter pill the disciples had to take. It was, however, a bitter pill that gave them the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit in their hearts.
The truth hurts. It is like a bitter pill. Anyone who refuses to take it can never be healed. But one who takes it is healed and becomes a healer himself.
Have you taken the “truth pill” today?
I am scared of the truth, O Lord, because the truth often hurts. But only the truth can set me free. Hold me by the hand as I face the truth about myself and never leave me. Heal me and set me free, Jesus. Amen.
Written by Fr. Bobby Titco.