God invites us to face the truth

iStock photo/Squareman

December 8 / First Saturday of Advent (Feast of the Immaculate Conception)

The Lord God called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?”
Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?”
The Lord
God then asked the woman, “What is this you have done?”
~ Genesis 3:
9, 11, 13


The British Parliament’s venerable custom (and increasingly unruly practice) of holding daily sessions in which MPs question the prime minister (known aptly as Prime Minister’s Questions) is not an experience for the faint of heart. Aimed more at point-scoring than truth-seeking, this half-hour session features the backbenchers practically pelting the prime minister with questions. In today’s reading, the questions also come thick and fast, but in this case they are directed from the Prime Mover of the universe to his creatures. And God’s purpose is not to showboat but to uncover the truth of the humans’ decision to withdraw from their relationship with him.

The three questions God asks Adam and Eve lay bare the threefold nature of their wrongdoing: alienation, arrogance and (for want of a better word) unaccountability. The humans have alienated themselves from God: “Where are you?” asks their divine walking companion. They have arrogantly sought truth outside the frame of divine wisdom: “Who told you that you were naked?” queries the author of all. And they have shirked accountability for their actions, Adam blaming Eve and Eve blaming the serpent. God’s questions are simple, direct and unsparing. The answers are, literally, damning, and for all eternity the human race is sentenced to seeking the way back to the paradise it lost. In the quiet of our daily prayer, we might listen for the questions God might be asking us. What truths about ourselves does he want us to face? What alienating actions might we seek to remedy? For what particular sins do we need to ask forgiveness? God longs for relationship with us; we can start by listening for his voice.

O Divine Wisdom, open my ears to your questions, and give me the strength to face the truth squarely, honestly and with true remorse.Amen.

J Cosgrove
5 days 12 hours ago

My experience is that few are interested in truth. We are primarily emotional creatures. The truth may be too uncomfortable. This tendency may be built into us or it may be a consequence of the Fall.

Deanna Johnston Clark
5 days 2 hours ago

One reason people are uncomfortable with truth about their lives is they don't know how to handle regrets. Whatever sins or mistakes we have made, they are baked into the status quo of our life. It takes a very humble, brave soul to face these truths, admit that nonetheless, we're to forgive OURSELVES and be responsible for the life we've created around us. It's easier to pretend, even lie...even get awards from the Bishop for our 'virtues'.

More: Advent / Prayer

The latest from america

Pope Francis visits Il Messaggero daily newspaper office in Rome Dec. 8.
This week before “Inside the Vatican” goes on break, we are giving you a round-up of this year’s top Vatican news.
Colleen DulleDecember 13, 2018
If I had ever managed to find time to take the divinity school course on “Troubling New Testament Texts,” I would have lobbied to include today’s Gospel passage on the syllabus.
Elizabeth Kirkland CahillDecember 12, 2018
Why is bad news so much easier to believe than the good?
Terrance KleinDecember 12, 2018
The cardinal is the most senior churchman yet to be convicted of historical sexual offenses. His conviction is a grave blow not only to the church in Australia but also to Pope Francis.
Gerard O’ConnellDecember 12, 2018