Monday of the 3rd week of Eastertide, Saint Athanasius, Bishop, Doctor

Truth, Authority and Convenience

Acts 6:8-15
Psalm 118:23-24,26-27,29-30
John 6:22-29

Whenever you say something that is the truth even to the deaf, he or she knows. But most times this truth is always contested not because it’s no longer the truth but because either the truth challenges authority to make amendments for the good of all and the future, or it’s not convenient for some people.

This is exactly what played out in the life of St. Athanasius, Stephen and Jesus.

Athanasius fought Arianism which denied divinity to Jesus. Arianism taught that the Son was created by the Father and in no way equal to him. This would ultimately destroy the Gospel, leaving it either as a fake or as a cruel parody. So God is good but creation is bad (or at worst, a mistake) and the work of an evil anti-God. Christianity is therefore destroyed, or even humanity.

Now, instead of facing the issue, his attackers mingeled the whole thing with matters of power, organization and authority. Athanasius underwent many sufferings and spending a total of 17 years in exile because of this. But he remained faithful.

Stephen had not a chance for exile but was stoned to death because the truth of the Gospel was left out in order to favour authority; so they brought up false claims inorder to win. But was Stephen trying to win or to say the truth like Athanasius.

Truth is not always convenient but why should we accept the truth only when it’s convenient. This is pure double standard.

That’s why Jesus told those looking for Him, “I tell you most solemnly,
you are not looking for me because you have seen the signs
but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.” They were looking for him who is the truth because of the convenient side of Him.

But Jesus continued, “Do not work for food that cannot last,
but work for food that endures to eternal life.” Truth lasts eternally.

That truth is not convenient to us today may mean that there’s something we need to change in our ways of life, either by adding to make it complete or remove. Or both.

That the truth is not convenient doesn’t make it less truth.

Avoiding the truth has so many consequences either for us or generations to come. That’s why some of us keep being in the same ugly situation.

To those who speak the truth, continue because you are working for the good of humanity like Christ.

If we follow Jesus in spirit and truth, we will not loose because no matter what, we shall accept the truth whether bitter or sweat. Truth heals, truth liberates.

©Fr. Henrycharles Umelechi

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