Hallowed in truth

This reflection was given during the daily Eucharist in the chapel of an Anglican convent.  The Scripture it references is John 17:11-19

In today’s gospel reading, Jesus asked the Father to sanctify his disciples in the truth.

It’s an abstract concept, maybe not easy to grasp; what does it mean to be sanctified in the truth?

It probably really only makes sense in the light of everything that has come before it, in this gospel.  Jesus has already by this point told us that he is the giver of living water, the bread of life, the light of the world.  He has presented a complex, multi-faceted identity.  But I think that he’s done that so that if one image doesn’t particularly speak to where you are, another one might.  Hunger and thirst for life, the yearning for truth you can trust, for goodness and beauty, feeling trapped in cages of our own making or even darkness; he has an image of himself for each of those needs.

And along with those images comes the invitation to abide with Jesus; to find in him a fundamental orientation to life, a rock on which to stand, a foundation on which to build.

I don’t have to tell you about this, really.  Most of you have known it as truth for longer than I’ve been alive, and I’m just a baby in the faith compared to your wisdom and experience.

But this is the key to effective discipleship, isn’t it?  To rest in Jesus and be at home with him.  To allow ourselves to open more and more, little by little, to the voice which offers us healing for our particular wounds and weaknesses (and we all have them).

This is the power of the words of God; to transform us, to shape our intentions, to centre us on what really matters.  As one translation put it, to hallow us.

I rather like the idea of being hallowed; as if, over time, the Spirit will patiently be at work until I go from dimness to a warming glow as I go through life.

May God hallow us all in his truth.


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