June 17, 2024

In John’s Gospel (8:31-32), Jesus provides instructive words about truth: “Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, ‘If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” So, being a faithful follower of God and abiding in his word and his teachings will lead us to the truth we are seeking.

There is a deep desire for all of us to know the truth. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle said that all of us desire to know the truth. St. Thomas Aquinas explains that a judgment is said to be true when it conforms to the external reality (cf. Summa Theologiae, I, Q. 16, art. 1). Said another way, truth is the conformity of the mind to reality as God knows things to be, which is, as they objectively are, apart from what I think they are or want them to be like.

In today’s world of social media and a constant news cycle, we often are presented with mixed, and sometimes contradictory, messaging. It is hard to know what is actually true and what isn’t. Things that are presented as reality but are really only virtual reality make it hard to know what to believe. For example, artificial intelligence has advanced so much that things can appear to be real but actually aren’t. It’s possible today to replicate not only someone’s voice, but even their appearance, even in a video format.

So how do we know what is real, what is true? It is important for us to remember to always use our intellect to check the validity of what is presented to us. Finding trustworthy resources and people to help us navigate today’s complexities of deception is crucial. But we are not left alone as humans in this journey. God and godly people are very helpful aids in learning and seeking truth in all things, along with asking God in prayer to reveal the truth to us.

When it comes to matters of faith, we are so blessed to be Catholic because Scripture and Tradition are the reliable resources of truth. It is impossible for God to deceive us because he is pure goodness, pure truth. Learning more about our Catholic faith enables us to know and share truth as it is rather than be fooled by those who try to convince us of something that isn’t objectively true.

So whether it be by reading the Gospels or other parts of the Bible, or the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or any of the other great number of fantastic resources at our disposal today, immerse yourself in the truths God has revealed to us through his Church.

As we make our way through this Easter season, may we ever more seek the truth God has revealed and use this as the lens through which we judge what is true and what isn’t. As we do so, we will be set free.