Daily Reflection
June 17th, 2000
Andy Alexander, S.J.
University Ministry and the Collaborative Ministry Office
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

1 Kings 19:19-21
Psalms 16:1-2, 5, 7-10
Matthew 5:33-37

"Say, 'Yes' when you mean 'Yes' and 'No' when you mean 'No.' 
  Anything beyond that is from the evil one."

Jesus must have known the human experience of "bending" the truth a little.  He must have experience how easy it is to "technically" tell the truth, while still "shading" it a bit, or being intentionally misleading.  He must have wrestled with the human temptation to "present himself" in a favorable light, and not having to be that good in reality.  He certainly knew from his own desert experience that the evil one tempted him to use his power to feed himself, to attract others to himself, to let the evil one be the source of his power.

I marvel at the attraction I feel toward Jesus' words.  What would it be like to chose to be that pure, that clear, that honest, that transparent?  I imagine it would be quite "vulnerable" - wound-able, quite exposed.  But, it would be so liberating.

I think the invitation I experience is to go into each of those areas in which the truth might set me free.  Freedom feels frightening only when it is unfamiliar and insecure and threatens danger.  Freedom feels liberating when the un-freedom has denied some part of the experience of being fully alive. 

Oh, Lord, let me be honest with you.  Let me respond to your invitations with a "Yes" that is faithful and true.  And, let my "No's" be complete and un-conditioned.  Give me your support and inspire me with your Spirit to examine all my commitments for their integrity.  I desire to do what I say I will do and be who I say I am.  And, bless me with your comforting presence today, that I might be more transparent, more responsible - not needing to bend or shade or spin, to give good impressions.  

You are my inheritance, O Lord.
    Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
    I say to the Lord, "My Lord are you."
    O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup,
    you it is who hold fast my lot.
You are my inheritance, O Lord.
    I bless the Lord who counsels me;
    even in the night my heart exhorts me.
    I set the Lord ever before me;
    with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
You are my inheritance, O Lord.        = Psalm 16

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