Introducing the truth
Jesus’ trial probably took place in the palace where Pilate resided when visiting Jerusalem. Meeting there one April morning in the year 30 are a defenseless defendant named Jesus and the representative of the powerful Roman imperial system.
John’s gospel recounts the dialogue between the two. Actually, rather than an interrogation, it seems to be a discourse given by Jesus, which is meant to clarify some topics that are of much interest to the evangelist. At one point, Jesus makes this solemn pronouncement: “For this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
This affirmation preserves a basic feature that defines Jesus’ prophetic trajectory: his will to live in God’s truth. Jesus does not only speak the truth, but he also seeks the truth and only the truth of a God who wants a more human world for all his sons and daughters.
Hence, Jesus speaks with authority, but without false authoritarianism. He speaks with sincerity, but without dogmatism. He does not speak like the fanatics who try to impose their truth. Nor like the officials who are obliged to defend the truth even though they may not believe in it. He does not ever consider himself the truth’s guardian, but rather its witness.
Jesus does not turn God’s truth into propaganda. He does not use it for personal gain, but rather in defense of the poor. He does not tolerate lying or the covering up of injustices. He cannot bear manipulations. Jesus thus becomes “the voice of the voiceless” (Jon Sobrino).
This voice is even more necessary now in a society that is trapped in grave economic crisis. The hiding of the truth is one of the firmest presuppositions underlying the action of both the big financial powerhouses and of the government that submits to their demands. They want us to live the crisis in a lie.
They do everything possible to hide the culpability of those who are primarily causing the crisis and ignored are the sufferings of the weakest and most helpless victims. It is urgent that the crisis be humanized by putting at the center of attention the truth about those who suffer and by giving attention, first and foremost, to their increasingly grave situation.
This is the truth that must be demanded of all of us if we do not want to be inhuman. This is what comes before anything else. We cannot get accustomed to social exclusion and the hopelessness the weakest fall into. We followers of Jesus have to listen to his voice and go out instinctively to defend and help the victims. Whoever belongs to the truth, listens to his voice and the cry of the poor.
José Antonio Pagola
November 25, 2012
Solemnity of Christ the King (B)