Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
(Acts 20:28-38; John 17:11b-19)
Bicycle mechanics speak of “truing” wheels. This means that they adjust the tension on the spokes equally so that the wheel’s rotation does not pull it from side to side. If the wheel is not “true,” it will wobble to cause an uncomfortable ride. The “truth” that Jesus expresses in today’s gospel may be understood in this way.
Jesus himself is the word that is truth. He grounds his disciples in what is good and pleasing to God so that they might attain eternal life. Without him the way would become so arduous that the disciples would begin to wobble. They would not be able to not complete their journey. In this “priestly prayer” on behalf of the people Jesus petitions the Father. He asks the Father to consecrate his disciples “in truth.” He wants them close to him for guidance and support.
We are used to think of truth classically. Truth is what corresponds closely to reality. John’s gospel stretches our notion of truth to include what is most practical. Truth – that is, Jesus of Nazareth – will enable us to attain eternal bliss, our heart’s deepest desire.