Homily: Truth Is Truth
There is a saying that there is a major change in the world every five hundred years. The last change was about five hundred years ago with the Protestant Revolution in this mindset. Although other changes happened since then but it was that revolution that opened the door to everything that followed, including the Copernican Revolution in science.
I wonder if we are in the next revolution and if so I think it will be wild.
Look at what Jesus is saying. He is talking about the Holy Spirit leading us to all truth. We always assume that to be all truth in relationship with God but that is not what Jesus said. He says the Holy Spirit will lead us to all truth.
Right now we are living in a time where science and faith among other elements seem to be at odds. At one time science and faith were united. However, when discoveries of science contradicted faith-based beliefs there was a change. For example, the most famous was Galileo. I explained earlier that he was the one who bore the brunt of the Copernican Revolution. Copernicus discovered that the Earth revolved around the Sun and not the other way around. What makes that significant is, he proved we were not what was assumed, the center of the universe. It was assumed because of the teachings in Genesis. However, this was just an assumption.
Copernicus revealed his discovery and Galileo his assistant had to suffer the brunt of it. Again that happened just short of 500 years ago.
Now it is about five hundred years later and we are seeing a great revolution in our country and in our world. Some people are focusing on God alone and others are focusing on Science alone. However, look what Jesus says. The Holy Spirit will lead you to all truth. I said last week, God’s omniscience is not about knowing what you had for breakfast this morning but understanding all the mysteries of the universe as well.
This is also what the Holy Spirit will teach. I believe that it is not God’s will that science and faith are at odds but that we are in a stage and close to the end of it where faith and science will reveal themselves to be different aspects of the same truth. However, as with all revolutions they cause great upheavals and changes.
Jesus says that if we love him, we will keep his word. This means that we will understand that His word is true wisdom and we will submit ourselves to it. We will submit ourselves to it because we understand that he preaches truth. St. Augustine says that we come to a deeper understanding of that truth in every generation. So we would understand that truth on a deeper level than the first century Christians.
One of the great issues in the country today is what we call sola scriptura. This comes from Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation and it teaches that the Word of God is the literal inerrant word of God. We as Catholics believe it is inspired and it is true but we do not believe in Sola Scriptura nor a literal meaning in every word of scripture. We believe in Scripture and Sacred Tradition and that the Holy Spirit leads us to all truth using those two pillars but not necessarily only those pillars.
Up until the invention of the printing press, most people not only did not own a Bible they did not have the ability to read it in the first place. Therefore, the idea of sola scriptura would have been impossible for most of Christendom.
In those days science and faith were combined but after the Protestant Reformation, you began to see a separation which gave rise to the enlightenment and among other things the Declaration of Independence.
One of the reasons why many people maintain that the Earth was created in six days going by what the Bible says. The same reason they reject the theory of evolution is because in their minds if you disprove the book of genesis you disprove every word in the Bible. It is an all-or-nothing approach.
Again we don’t believe this. We trust in the Holy Spirit to guide us to all truth. Truth is truth. If I believe that Jesus died on the cross because we needed him to do that for us to be saved, I believe that to be as true as Einstein’s theory of relativity. However, if I believe them to be true, then I also believe that they cannot contradict each other.
If we look at the words of Jesus, we have to realize that when Jesus spoke, he was as aware of the truths of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity as he was of the danger of sin.
Therefore, if the Holy Spirit is going to lead us to all truth then he will lead us to a point where we will see science and faith in the same pool of truth and we will understand the truths of our faith as well as we understand the truths of science and vice versa.
Jesus is telling us that the Holy Spirit will lead us to all truth. He never says he will lead us to biblical truth only or any other form of truth but all truth. Therefore, the time will come when we will understand the truth all of it.
The faith has an interesting evolution. First, you have paganism, then God calls Abraham and for the first time you have monotheism. The Jews bring forth monotheism to the ancient world. Then through Jesus, you have a deeper understanding of the God whom we worship. Then we have the promise of the Holy Spirit this is the time we are living now as we look forward to the Kingship of Christ under which there is all truth.
Our role is to bring ourselves to pray daily, to seek the truths that Jesus leads us to without being afraid to pursue other forms of truth in all the sciences for they will all lead to the same place. If we are united with Christ and not afraid of seeking the truths of science we will eventually discover a deeper truth that will lead us to the limits of science and into the kingdom of God where everything works by truth according to the law of God and of his physics.
We have a special role in this as Catholics. Unlike the Atheists, we do not have a branch of fundamentalists that maintain a strict interpretation of scientific understanding and unlike some Christians, we don’t have a fundamentalist approach to scripture. We see both as offering elements of truth. Our role is to lead to see the whole truth and we cannot do that if we do not pursue it ourselves.
Let us humble ourselves to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, open ourselves to prayer, and seek to go wherever He chooses to lead us wherever that may be on this world or another.
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