Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, "A lie gets half way around the world, before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
On this Monday in the Octave of Easter the gospel recounts how after the resurrection, the chief priests and the elder paid the guards a large sum of money to claim that the disciples of Jesus had come and stolen the body, to lie. It's easy to understand how easy it was for these guards, who had no vested interested in the matter, could rationalize their participation in the lie. After all, how many people really cared about the death of the leader of a little group of Jews, and they could use the money to buy food for them and their families. What real harm would it do?
These are the kind of rationalizations we use when we lose sight of the centrality of the truth. For John's gospel, which we read on Sunday's in the Easter season, the concept of truth is at the very heart of the gospel, and in our present culture seems more in danger than ever. From those who wish to paint truth as something relative("that may be true for you"), to those who for political motives continue to deny basic facts like the citizenship or religion of the president, we see an assault on the basic concept of truth.
As we begin the 50 days of the Easter season, the gospel today calls us to renew our commitment to foundational principles. There is such a thing as truth. The truth is knowable. And we as Christians must demand of ourselves and others that we speak the truth, even when it is a truth we don't want to hear, or is a truth that costs us.
I am the way, the truth, and the life.