by John Morton
The Word and the Church
Bible commentary following the Catholic Lectionary (which gives an overview of the entire Bible) by the Fully Alive staff
Saturday of the Eight Week in Ordinary Time
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Jude 17, 20B-25
We can find Truth only in God. But do we really “thirst” for God? Do we really hunger for that Truth?
Today’s readings remind us of our need to thirst for God. They encourage us to place Truth ahead of ourselves and ahead of victory. We are also asked to be merciful to those who teach error, but to guide them whenever possible.
Catholics in America are asked to abstain from food and drink (with the exception of water) at least an hour prior to partaking in the Eucharist. This proscription has been relaxed in recent years, as the faithful used to be asked to abstain the entire morning before receiving, not just an hour prior.
While both practices are acceptable, if you are able I would recommend practicing the older tradition. The feeling of hunger and desire to eat that grows deep in the pit of your stomach will be all the more noticeable, and therefore all the more beneficial. The practice of abstaining from food prior to the Eucharist gives us the opportunity to feel a real hunger, a necessary hunger. The desire for food becomes tangible and immediate. This reminds us that our own hunger for Truth, and our own thirst for God, should be as real and immediate. I don’t often feel that desire, I don’t always seek the Truth in the same fashion I seek nutrition when famished, and that’s all the more reason to keep up the practice.
In the Gospel the Pharisees and Scribes question the authority of Christ. But when questioned in return by our Lord they do not seek the Truth, a Truth which was evident from the miracles he performed. Instead they seek victory. They are so blinded by their goal that they ignore that truth which would seem so obvious. No one could have performed such miracles except by God, but following the evidence was not their concern.
We ought to always be concerned with seeking the Truth, for it is in the Truth that we find the glory of God (by his grace). The epistle of Jude tells us to “build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God…” This is something we must do, something we must work at constantly. Everyone struggles to do so, which is why the Holy Spirit has guided the Church in prescribing traditions to remind of us the very real and immediate importance of this desire.
John Morton is a writer and amateur historian from the Twin Cities. An avowed atheist for 15 years, he converted to Catholicism in 2015 after a long discernment process. He continues to study and write on early Christian history, theistic apologetics, and his own personal conversion experience.
Erik Ritland is a journalist and musician. He's the lead staff writer and podcast host of Fully Alive Christian Media and Rambling On, a blog and podcast covering sports, music, and culture.