September 18, 2016

From my childhood, I heard the words, “a scout is trustworthy”.  What does worthy of trust mean?  In the Gospel, Jesus makes the point that if we cannot be trustworthy in very small matters, we cannot be trusted with great ones.  We live in a very untrusting society.  We are inundated with outlets for information and in the plurality of choices, we must come to realize all of them give us information from an already prejudiced perspective.  Even when commentators call it a no spin zone, it is already spun.  Early in my priesthood, on one of my trips to Israel, I remember having a short wave radio that I would use to listen to the news.  One night I caught the station of freedom broadcasting from somewhere in the Mediterranean.  It broadcast the meeting about the time President Reagan was meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik.  The news stated that President Reagan offered many concessions and the Russians did not.  A few minutes later on another broadcast from Russia I heard the exact news broadcast word for word but this one stated the Gorbachev made concessions and our president did not. It was one of the moments when I felt manipulated by the press.  I began to seek deeper and different perspectives.  I no longer felt all of the news was trustworthy.  For the next generation I think the phrase “I saw it on the internet, so it must be true” spoken in sarcasm points to the same reality.  It is why I read the tabloid covers as I am waiting in line at a checkout.  They are a humorous break from reality.

While we may agree we are manipulated by the press, to what extent do we seek the real truth?  To what extent do we find situations worthy of truth?  In the end, it comes to trusting the One who is offering you the information.  By what standard do we judge that?  I think it all starts within our heart.  We are called by God to be bearers of trust.  We are given His divine truth in the gift of Baptism.  We are to bear witness to His undying truth of resurrection in the world.  If we are asked the question, are you a trustworthy person, how would we answer?

God finds us worthy of trust.  Even though we are sinners, God finds us worthy of trust.  Even though we mess up, God finds us worthy of trust.  When someone trusts us, our lives are changed.  When someone believes in us, our world is uprooted and made anew.  Even when we do not believe in ourselves, God finds us trustworthy.  When I meditate on those words, life changes for me.  When I look in the mirror, worthy of nothing and God shares His redemptive love, I must scratch the surface of being trustworthy.  In the midst of all of the spin doctors and media outlets, the only one clear voice needs to be the Lord’s.  He will find us worthy of love, forgiveness, mercy and trust.  Listen for His voice.

Rev. John J. Ouper