We are all expert at carefully selecting our words so that we do not risk the chance that someone who hears us will find offense in what we say. I say that not to be critical. In fact, our culture has a preference against straight talk. Often, we are told that the greatest sin is to offend someone. To speak the truth is often disfavored and can lead us to speak in meaningless platitudes rather than to tell the unvarnished truth.
The gospel passage we read today from John reveals to us that Jesus was unafraid to tell those who opposed him the absolute, painful truth.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
So the question for today, my sisters and brothers, is whether or not we hear his voice, and whether we too are unafraid to speak the plain truth.
Speak the truth boldly and your reward will be great in heaven!