The Author of Truth
Gospel reflection for May 25, 2023
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
"I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them."
- Jn 17:20-26
To say that I have thought, written and spoken a lot about this and similar passages from the Bible recently would be an understatement. Not only do such quotes feature prominently in my new book, but I have been doing a series on the authority of the Catholic Church, given through God via the Apostles on my Catholic podcast… it is up to 6 episodes on this subject so far!
Honestly, I have a very hard time understanding how anyone could not understand the plain meaning of passages such as this. But, a quick search online will find many protestant commentaries that twist logic to claim that our Lord meant the exact opposite of what is recorded in the Bible! But, there is only one truth. God is the author of truth. God is eternal, unchanging the same “yesterday, today and tomorrow.” Jesus prayed that they all be one in unity and in truth, of one mind.
Contrast this plain and simple truth with the fact that there are from 10-50,000 Christian or associated (such as Jehovah’s Witness, LDS, etc.) denominations depending on how you count them. Each of these denominations teaches a doctrine and/or theology that disagrees from the others. Yet, there is one TRUTH. When Martin Luther began the Protestant movement, he taught a doctrine so distinctly different from Catholic doctrine that he had to change the words of Jesus in the Bible and cut out entire books of the Bible that did not agree with his doctrine. Still, there was one TRUTH.
To believe that Luther and those who followed him found truths that were different to the one eternal TRUTH as taught by the Catholic Church for around 1,400 years before he lived is simply not logical. All he had, he inherited from the Catholic Church - the doctrines, the beliefs, the traditions and practices… even the Bible. If he was right, the Catholic Church was wrong. If the Catholic Church was wrong, on what did he base his beliefs? How could he even believe the New Testament as written by the Apostles who founded the Catholic Church? If he could not trust the Church, he could not trust the Bible and could not know the TRUTH of the Jesus he claimed to follow. Instead of the Rock upon which Christ founded his Church, he had merely the sand of his own understanding for a foundation… no wonder he believed he could change the Bible. The only authority he followed was his own - he made a church and a Bible in his own image.
This was not new. Even in Saint Paul’s time, such men sowed division in the early Church. Romans 16:17-20:
I urge you, brothers, be on your guard against the people who are out to stir up disagreements and bring up difficulties against the teaching which you learnt. Avoid them. People of that sort are servants not of our Lord Christ, but of their own greed; and with talk that sounds smooth and reasonable they deceive the minds of the unwary. Your obedience has become known to everyone, and I am very pleased with you for it; but I should want you to be learned only in what is good, and unsophisticated about all that is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
That Saint Paul mentions Satan is no coincidence. Afterall, the sin of the devil was to reject the authority of God. He set himself up as his own god. Wherever there is division, it is not of God. Satan is the author of division, dissent, disorder and decomposition. The Body of Christ is somewhat like our national motto, “Out of many, one.” The motto of the devil is more like out of one, many. Saint Paul goes on to say that disunity, division and schism was dividing the Body of Christ and crucifying our Lord again due to our own vanity.
This message is the same as in the Ten Commandments, “You shall have no other gods before me.” When one founds his own church with its own, unique doctrine, based on his understanding of the Bible and not that of the Church founded by Jesus Christ, given His authority through the Apostles and guaranteed free from error in its teaching authority, one places his beliefs as superior and thus makes himself his highest authority or, his own God.
1 John 4:6
We are from God; whoever recognises God listens to us; anyone who is not from God refuses to listen to us. This is how we can distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of falsehood.
2 John 1:9-11
If anybody does not remain in the teaching of Christ but goes beyond it, he does not have God with him: only those who remain in what he taught can have the Father and the Son with them. If anyone comes to you bringing a different doctrine, you must not receive him into your house or even give him a greeting. Whoever greets him has a share in his wicked activities.
Obedience to God requires unity and willing submission to the authority of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. As Saint Augustine said, “Rome has spoken, the matter is closed.”
Judson Carroll is the author of several books, including his newest, Confirmation, an Autobiography of Faith. It is Available in paperback on Amazon:
His new podcast is The Uncensored Catholic https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-uncensored-catholic
Amen, your reflection says it well!