Living the Truth in Love

Today’s first Mass reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians contains the wonderful phrase, “living the truth in love.” Paul has just told the people of Ephesus that they have been given gifts from God so that they “may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery.” Rather, they are to live the truth in love.

What does it mean to live the truth in love? In a book titled Doing the Truth in Love: Conversations about God, Relationships and Service, Michael Himes talks about ideal truths vs. realized truths. The beatitudes, he suggests, are meant to be “concretized in our lives so that they are not ideal truths but realized truths. They are not to be accepted or believed; they are to be done.”

Action, not simply ideas. Truth is to be lived, not merely believed. And, says Himes, living truth means living agapically, seeing agape as “a reality, not simply a lovely ideal.” He writes, “If we imagine the world and the neighbor sacramentally, then we must reverence the world and the neighbor. If we imagine our lives eucharistically, they we must live as self-gift. To re-envision the universe sacramentally requires us to act differently within it and toward it, and to live agapically requires that we discern what the true good of the other is which we seek to bring about.”

How will you live the truth in love today?