Isn’t it ironical that everyone believes that truth must prevail but few are ready to hear the truth (especially when it concerns themselves) and act on it? Scientist, politician and layman alike want to change the world ‘for the better’, yet few have the courage to confront the real truth. Maybe we just don’t trust that the truth will keep us afloat – save us – or maybe we are simply too lazy to change our crooked ways. At any rate, we fail to stand by what is good, right and true and succumb to the forces of darkness. Such lack of integrity will sooner rather than later destroy the social fabric and, what is more, sever our ties with God.

In the First Reading (Jer. 20: 10-13), we see Jeremiah entrusted with a very difficult mission: to announce to unfaithful Jerusalem that it was soon to be torn apart. The people responded with a smear campaign; even friends issued threats and awaited the Prophet’s fall. But Jeremiah was unshakeable: “The Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore, my persecutors will stumble, they will not overcome me.” He notes how God “tries the righteous” and comes to their rescue. A lesson in perseverance in the face of opposition.

How many of us stand our ground when it comes to defending the Verum, Bonum, Pulchrum – Truth, Goodness, Beauty? For instance, everyone is quick to criticise a corrupt politician but they mellow in their sight if not melt down at the first sign of trouble. Every one of us has a calling to be prophetic. Jesus shows us the role of prophecy in the church, our churchmen repeat the injunction again and again but how many walk the talk, or simply call spade a spade? There were times when the church hierarchy, from the Pope downwards, authentically stood up to the secular powers and asserted God’s law. That had a ripple effect in society and kept it running like a well-oiled machine.

In the Gospel (Mt 10: 26-33), Jesus sends forth His disciples to fearlessly proclaim His doctrine. He promises to expose what is hidden and announce what is merely whispered: He calls us to be upfront about God and His dominion over Creation. However, He cautions His disciples against satanic forces that can destroy body and soul; yet there is none to fear but God who alone has authority over all things. In short, Jesus calls us to be proactive, to acknowledge and stand by Him – for, then, He will stand by us, when we go to our eternal reward. And woe to him who denies Him, for they will be paid back in the same coin.

Expanding the ideas of eternal life and damnation, St Paul in the Second Reading (Rom. 5: 12-15) speaks of how sin and death entered the world through Adam and how humankind was redeemed through the supreme sacrifice of the Second Adam, Jesus Christ. Whereas Adam’s act led to our separation from God and set off our condemnation, Jesus’ Resurrection brought hope of reconciliation with God and ensured our salvation. This is the supreme reality, in the face of which everything else pales out into insignificance.

Today we are invited to examine our lives: to what extent do we believe in the existence of God? How far are we ready to overcome all odds and affirm our faith? To what extent do we trust in the Announcer of the Good News – and in Him alone? Do we suffer from a trust deficit in things that really matter? Or do we at times suffer from overtrust? At any rate, it matters who and what we trust. In the era of fake news, it matters what we finally believe and trust.

At the end of a terrible week that saw Titan go the way of the Titanic, let us realise, before it is too late, that Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. When we trust in Him without reserve, there is no titan to fear. Note how the fishing boat trapped in that fierce storm in the Sea of Galilee did not sink as the supposedly unsinkable did the submersible went down in the North Atlantic: rather than the size of the craft or the material used it was the presence of the proverbial Pilot Jesus Christ that made all the difference.