LIVING IN THE TRUTH
There’s no experience in life as mysterious and sacred as the leave-taking of a loved one that takes us beyond death. That’s why the Gospel of John tries to gather Jesus’ testament in the last farewell: what they must never forget.
One thing is very clear for the Gospel writer. The world isn’t going to be able to «see» or «know»’ the truth that is hidden in Jesus. For many, Jesus will have passed through this world as if nothing had happened; he will leave no trace in their lives. To see Jesus one needs some new eyes. Only those who love him will be able to experience that he’s alive and that he brings to life.
Jesus is the only person who deserves to be loved in an absolute way. Whoever loves him thus can’t think about him as if he belongs to the past. His life isn’t a memory. The one who loves Jesus lives out his words, «keeps his commandments», goes about filling self with Jesus.
It’s not easy to express this experience. The Gospel writer calls it the «Spirit of truth». It’s a very well-chosen expression, since Jesus is becoming a power and a light that makes us «live in the truth». At whatever point in life that we find ourselves, to welcome Jesus into us takes us toward the truth.
This «Spirit of truth» isn’t to be confused with a doctrine. It’s not found in the books of theologians or in the documents of the magisterium. According to Jesus’ promise, «he lives with us and is in us». We hear him within and he shines forth in the life of whoever follows Jesus’ steps in a humble, trusting and faithful way.
The Gospel writer calls it «Defender Spirit», because now that Jesus isn’t physically with us, he defends us from what could separate us from him. This Spirit «is always with us». No one can kill it, like they did Jesus. He will always continue alive in the world. If we welcome him into our life, we won’t feel ourselves orphans and abandoned.
Maybe the conversion we Christians most need today is to go about passing from a verbal, routine and scarcely real attachment to Jesus, toward an experience of living rooted in his «Spirit of truth».
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf