The Complete Truth

Wednesday 25 May 2022 6th week of Eastertide

Acts 17:15,22-18:1
Paul’s escort took him as far as Athens and went back with instructions for Silas and Timothy to re-join Paul as soon as they could.   So, Paul stood before the whole Council of the Areopagus and made this speech: ‘Men of Athens, I have seen for myself how extremely scrupulous you are in all religious matters, because I noticed, as I strolled round admiring your sacred monuments, that you had an altar inscribed: To An Unknown God. Well, the God whom I proclaim is in fact the one whom you already worship without knowing it.   ‘Since the God who made the world and everything in it is himself Lord of heaven and earth, he does not make his home in shrines made by human hands. Nor is he dependent on anything that human hands can do for him, since he can never be in need of anything; on the contrary, it is he who gives everything – including life and breath – to everyone. From one single stock he not only created the whole human race so that they could occupy the entire earth, but he decreed how long each nation should flourish and what the boundaries of its territory should be. And he did this so that all nations might seek the deity and, by feeling their way towards him, succeed in finding him. Yet in fact he is not far from any of us, since it is in him that we live, and move, and exist, as indeed some of your own writers have said: “We are all his children.” ‘Since we are the children of God, we have no excuse for thinking that the deity looks like anything in gold, silver or stone that has been carved and designed by a man.    ‘God overlooked that sort of thing when men were ignorant, but now he is telling everyone everywhere that they must repent, because he has fixed a day when the whole world will be judged, and judged in righteousness, and he has appointed a man to be the judge. And God has publicly proved this by raising this man from the dead.’    At this mention of rising from the dead, some of them burst out laughing; others said, ‘We would like to hear you talk about this again.’ After that Paul left them, but there were some who attached themselves to him and became believers, among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman called Damaris, and others besides.    After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.

Psalm 148           Your glory fills all heaven and earth.       I cieli e la terra sono pieni della tua gloria.

John 16:12-15
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I still have many things to say to you, but they would be too much for you now. But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking as from himself but will say only what he has learnt; and he will tell you of the things to come.  He will glorify me, since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine. Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said: All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.’

+ Dal Vangelo secondo Giovanni
In quel tempo, disse Gesù ai suoi discepoli: «Molte cose ho ancora da dirvi, ma per il momento non siete capaci di portarne il peso. Quando verrà lui, lo Spirito della verità, vi guiderà a tutta la verità, perché non parlerà da se stesso, ma dirà tutto ciò che avrà udito e vi annuncerà le cose future. Egli mi glorificherà, perché prenderà da quel che è mio e ve lo annuncerà. Tutto quello che il Padre possiede è mio; per questo ho detto che prenderà da quel che è mio e ve lo annuncerà».
Parola del Signore


In the first reading, Paul addresses the people of Athens as seekers after truth. He declares that God wanted all nations to seek the deity and by feeling their way towards him to succeed in finding him. Moreover, he says that God, who wants all people to seek and find him, has drawn close to them because it is in him that we live and move and have our being.

Paul can announce to the people of Athens that the God whom they have been seeking has been fully revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, who is God’s beloved Son. We have come to believe in Jesus as the full revelation of God, but that doesn’t mean that our seeking has come to an end. Those of us who celebrate Jesus as the truth remain seekers after truth, because we recognize that faith is not perfect vision. As Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians, ‘now we see as in a mirror, dimly’. Even as people of faith, we remain on a journey towards what Jesus in the gospel reading calls ‘the complete truth’. None of us, no matter how strong and deep our faith, has the complete truth.  Jesus declares that one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to lead us to the complete truth, by calling to our minds all that Jesus has said and done. As Jesus declares in today’s reading, ‘all he tells you will be taken from what is mine’. We are on a shared journey led by the Holy Spirit and while we may be further on that journey that the people of Athens in the first reading, we still have a way to go. Every day, as people of faith we set out again calling on the Holy Spirit to lead us ever closer to the complete truth.

Riflessione (italiano):

Nella prima lettura, Paolo si rivolge agli abitanti di Atene come cercatori della verità. Dichiara che Dio ha voluto che tutte le nazioni cercassero la divinità e che, sentendosi in cammino verso di lui, riuscissero a trovarlo.

Inoltre, afferma che Dio, che vuole che tutti gli uomini lo cerchino e lo trovino, si è avvicinato a loro perché è in lui che viviamo, ci muoviamo e abbiamo il nostro essere.

Paolo può annunciare al popolo di Atene che il Dio che essi cercavano si è rivelato pienamente nella vita, nella morte e nella risurrezione di Gesù, che è il Figlio prediletto di Dio.

Siamo arrivati a credere in Gesù come piena rivelazione di Dio, ma questo non significa che la nostra ricerca sia terminata. Quelli di noi che celebrano Gesù come la verità rimangono cercatori della verità, perché riconoscono che la fede non è una visione perfetta. Come dice Paolo nella sua prima lettera ai Corinzi, “ora vediamo come in uno specchio, debolmente”. Anche come persone di fede, rimaniamo in cammino verso quella che Gesù nella lettura del Vangelo chiama “la verità completa”. Nessuno di noi, per quanto forte e profonda sia la nostra fede, possiede la verità completa.

Gesù dichiara che uno dei ruoli dello Spirito Santo è quello di condurci alla verità completa, richiamando alla nostra mente tutto ciò che Gesù ha detto e fatto. Come dichiara Gesù nella lettura di oggi, “tutto ciò che vi dirà sarà preso da ciò che è mio”. Siamo in un cammino comune guidati dallo Spirito Santo e, sebbene possiamo essere più avanti nel cammino rispetto al popolo di Atene nella prima lettura, abbiamo ancora una strada da percorrere.

Ogni giorno, come persone di fede, ci rimettiamo in cammino facendo appello allo Spirito Santo affinché ci conduca sempre più vicino alla verità completa.