Speak the Truth in Love

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Advent Reflection 12/16/14

Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord God, who rules by his strong arm; Here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, Carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.

 Isaiah 40:9-11

The prophets of the Old Testament prepared for Jesus’ arrival in our world by speaking the truth. Speaking the truth often┬áisn’t the politically correct thing to do. When you speak the truth you may offend someone. Speaking the truth won’t make you popular, especially among those for whom acknowledging the truth will necessitate a radical lifestyle change. And yet, we are all called to speak the truth–especially the truth about the good news of Jesus. “And thanks to the prophets Israel understood that it was again out of love that God never stopped saving them and pardoning their unfaithfulness and sins.” (CCC 218)

I recently experienced an example of the power of speaking the truth in love. When I was in school, I wasn’t afraid to talk about what I believed and why, regardless of whether the person I was talking to agreed with me. Years later, I received this message from one of my classmates:

Ok, I don’t know if you remember me, but one day in high school, in the library, you were bold enough to challenge my views on the rights of unborn children. You touched my heart and changed by whole perspective. You allowed your faith to lead the conversation and you began a whole new life in Christ in me. Just thought you should know that!
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tended to keep my opinions to myself, in an effort to avoid offending others and creating conflict. This little note was a powerful reminder to me.
We must always be ready to speak the truth in love.