THE DICHOTOMY OF TRUTH AND SOCIETY

November 13, 2022 — 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Sunday Reflection from the Gospel of Luke (21:5-19)

Bro. Alvin C. Laserna Jr.

Most of us do not want to live alone as if being with others is already a part of our identities. This is deemed rational not just by the thinkers in the contemporary times like Martin Heidegger, for example, but such can also be affirmed in the philosophical concepts of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine regarding the person.

In other words, man as a social and relational being is a fact acceptable by most people since time immemorial. This explains why it is so hard to go against the crowd even if their beliefs are already shaky. So, we often face the dichotomy between truth and society.

In the Gospel, Jesus warns the people about the false prophets who would say that they are like Him. Further considering that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), one may relate this Gospel in the dissemination of some words considered as truths when, in fact, are falsities. Throughout history, false prophets were already existing not just in terms of religion but even in other aspects of society. They affect each individual, particularly, his basic notion of experience of reality.

Such a reality affects the society—it is as if the society already is the sole determiner of the norms, truths, and morality. As a consequence, people follow the actions of the crowd.

At the first glance, it seems that everything is fine. Such a dissemination of falsity seems not felt these days simply because the false is slowly being considered as the truth. We cannot deny that we, Christians, are aware of what, rather, who the Truth really is. Yet, it would seem that one would just be contented to know the Truth and keep Him within himself for his self-transcendence. Such, however, should not be the case.

The Truth does us good. This goodness tends to spread and compels us to share to others what we have witnessed as the Truth. Oftentimes, we are afraid to be judged. In some instances, we would prefer to be silent than to break seemingly fine relationships. Most of the times, we would rather opt not to blow the whistle than to spill the beans and be persecuted.

Nevertheless, are our actions virtuous enough? Will we rather choose to live a life of not doing what is right and true and let others lose the eternal one?

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Correspondent Casiciaco

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