Faith Matters: Our reliable source of truth
A fundamental principle of journalism is factual reporting. This is why the growing phenomenon of ‘fake news’ is so troubling. Instead of presenting honest information, rogue sources present disinformation that leads to confusion and undermines trust.
There is also the more recent introduction of the phrase ‘alternative facts’. It was used to justify giving false statements to the press. This is unfortunate because I believe that our society values honesty and needs the truth. If we are immersed in uncertainty, what are we to believe? A good rule of thumb is to always check the source. Are we hearing the news from a person or organization that is reliable or unreliable? Do we have confidence in the source and believe we are receiving the truth?
Sacred scripture tells us that during His last hours on earth, Jesus was interrogated by the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. He did not know Jesus and asked Him if He was a king. Jesus replied, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice” (Jn. 18:37). Pilate then asked him, “What is truth?” The great irony is that the answer was standing right in front of him.
Christians believe that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn. 14:6). This means that we can trust that Jesus will lead us to what is good, true and beautiful. From a spiritual perspective He becomes our reliable source of truth. This requires some sort of relationship because it is very difficult to trust someone that we do not know. A personal relationship develops when we spend some time in prayer talking and listening to the Lord. We then discover how to know, love and serve Him each day. Then when we are faced with the uncertainties of life, we can go to the Lord who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
At the beginning of Lent we focus on Jesus who entered the wilderness for forty days and nights and was tempted by the devil (Mt. 4:1-11). During this time we find a perfect example of ‘fake news’ versus the truth. In an attempt to discourage Jesus, satan was presenting many ‘alternative facts’ that were untrue. This is why in scripture he is called the ‘father of lies’ (Jn. 8:44). When we are confused, it is much easier to lose hope and to give up. Lent provides us with an opportunity to strengthen our hope by spending some time listening to the voice of truth. As we listen to the Lord, we develop a deeper appreciation of ourselves and the world around us. We are given an honest evaluation that helps us to discern between what is true and what is false. We pray a little more, try to be less selfish, and give generously to others. This is the truth that leads to personal freedom. Hopefully, if we remove some of the distractions, Lent will offer us an opportunity to focus on our spiritual life. Rather than listening to the ‘father of lies’ that leads to discouragement, we will listen to the truth that leads to encouragement.
In the face of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’, I invite all Christians to turn to the Lord who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus will offer us the “Good News” that we need to hear and can always trust! “For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” (Jn. 18:37)