May 15, 2002 (Audio) Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Reading I (Acts 20:28-38) Gospel (St. John 17:11b-19)
In the Gospel reading Our Lord, in praying to His heavenly Father, says that He has protected those that have been given to Him, and that He has kept them from the evil one. He prays beyond that, that all of them would be kept from the evil one. He did not pray that they would be taken out of the world, but only that they would be kept from the evil one. When you listen then, to the words of St. Paul in the first reading, it is very similar. He is taking to the presbyters, to the priests in Ephesus, and there he tells them that they have to guard the flock that is entrusted to their care. He tells them that savage wolves are going to come up from their own number who are going to lead the sheep astray. We have Our Lord saying that He wants to consecrate His followers in truth. We have St. Paul saying that there are people who are going to preach falsehood, so you need to make sure you are preaching the truth, so that the flock is not going to be lead astray. You see that they are saying, in essence, the exact same thing.
Today it holds true more than ever. Look around. We have savage wolves who have come up from our own number who have been perverting the truth, who have not taught the truth, who have not lived the truth, who have been trying to undermine the faith of the people of God. Yet that is the way it was right from the beginning. Look at the twelve, you had one among the twelve who was a traitor. You had the larger body of disciples who were following the Lord, and when He preached to them about the Eucharist, they walked away and said we cannot listen to this. From within the number of those who knew the Lord, there was still a fairly large number of those who walked away, and it has not changed over the years. There are going to be those who will remain faithful, and those who will not.
How are we going to be able to remain faithful? Our Lord tells us exactly how. He says, “Consecrate them in truth.” It is about truth. It is not about opinion. It is not about who has the majority. It is about truth. That is what we need to be consecrated in. He says to the heavenly Father, “Your word is truth.” That is the point that we can always come down to: the Word of God, and we need to remember who the official interpreter of the Word of God is, and that is the Church. Jesus founded one Church. As St. Paul tells the priests in Ephesus, the flock is entrusted to their care, and it is the Church of God, and it is the Lord who founded His Church. So we do not go outside of His Church to see if we can find truth. You do not leave Jesus Christ in order to see if you can find Him. That is foolishness. Jesus Christ is the truth, and the fullness of the truth has been entrusted to the Church. The fullness of the truth can be found only in the Roman Catholic Church, and let there be no doubt about that fact, anything else is a lie. There may be a lot of truth in other places, but not the fullness.
Jesus prayed about His disciples that they might share His joy completely. He did not pray that they might have a lot of His joy, or that they might have this most of the way, but they would share His joy completely. The only way that we can share His joy completely, is if we are completely in His truth, because He alone is the truth. The only way we can share His joy completely is if we are in Him. To be consecrated to the truth, is to be consecrated to Jesus Christ, and to be in Jesus Christ fully. That means to be fully immersed in His Church, fully immersed in her teaching, fully immersed in the Sacraments, fully immersed in the very life of Jesus Christ. When that is happening, then we will be fully consecrated to Him, and fully within the truth, and then we will be one with Christ. That is what we desire. It is what we profess, and it is the only way that we are going to be able to remain faithful in the midst of everything else that is happening, and that will happen.
There is only one way, and that is to be consecrated wholeheartedly to Jesus Christ. The best way, as I have pointed out many times, is to consecrate yourself to His Mother, to Jesus Christ through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and you will not be lead astray. That is the one guarantee that we can hang onto. If you want to remain faithful to Jesus Christ, we have the way, and that is the way that He chose to consecrate Himself to us, through His Mother. Give yourself to Him totally. Come to Jesus Christ. Consecrate yourself to the truth. Consecrate yourself to Christ that you will share His life, His truth, and His joy completely.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.