The Journey of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth

“Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king.  For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truthEveryone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.

Christ the King Sunday.  With this Solemnity, we celebrate the end of the journey that began last Advent—the start of the liturgical calendar. 

The journey is one of Beauty, of Goodness, and Truth.  The goal of the liturgical year is to touch our hearts with the beauty of God’s love.  To change our lives with the goodness of a God who sacrifices everything for us.  All of this, so that at the end of the journey we can confess what is true.  That Jesus Christ is our Lord and our King.

I’ve heard it said, that if you want to evangelize someone, if you want someone to know Christ, do not start with knowledge and facts or “things that are true”.  Start with Beauty and Goodness.  For example, rather than tell someone God is real, maybe go to a beach and look at the sunset and wonder out loud, “how does the beauty of something like this exist?”  Or, when at work and a co-worker asks you, “how was your morning?” Give them an honest answer.   My morning was good.  I went to That Man is You at my Church, and am becoming more aware of God’s presence in my life and growing my faith with other men who have become brothers.”  If we want others to know God, we need to start with what is beautiful and good before we establish what is true. 

And our Church too utilizes this way of evangelization. The entire liturgical year has established what is good and beautiful, that we have God who loved us enough to send his son, to live with us, live our life, to die for us in order to raise us to new life.  Today, we are talking about what is true, because we have heard and seen already what is beautiful and what is good. The truth is that Jesus is our Savior, our Lord, and our King.  The question now is, are we able to recognize the truth?

Pope Benedict XVI said, “the unredeemed state of the world consists… in the failure to recognize the truth.” Think about it, would the Pharisees and Jewish leaders have crucified Jesus if they had recognized the truth and knew he was God?  Of course not… But they didn’t recognize him… Can we recognize the truth?  The truth is that Jesus is our King.  And that means that our lives must conform to him and give witness to him.

“Bearing witness to the truth’ means giving priority to God and to his will over against” our interests and “the interests of the world and its powers” (pg. 192-3).  We must be witnesses of the Truth.  And this means we are witnesses of Christ.  Our lives must be a proclamation of the Gospel. That means that just as Jesus loved so are we called to love.  That means that when Jesus said, Go sin no more, we are willing to turn away from evil and bad habits even if the world says it’s okay.  Proclaiming Christ as the truth means being mindful of the poor.  Bearing witness to the truth means being willing to share the good and beautiful experiences we have had with Jesus —the person who is truth.

“Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king.  For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truthEveryone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.

 

In Christ’s Love and Friendship,

Fr. Stephen

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