One thing I try never to do is to call someone a liar. This is largely because detecting a lie is not always a fool-proof process. It can appear that someone is lying, when in fact they are telling the truth. I remember the story of a little boy who was getting in trouble a lot in school. Often he said he did not hear what it was he was supposed to do. Turned out, that he had significant hearing loss in one ear, and in fact, may not have heard. Since he was often in trouble, it seemed hard to believe, especially when he was looking right at his teacher, that he was, in fact, not simply being a smart aleck.
Saint John reminds us that not to love our brothers and sisters means we do not really love God. And if we say we do, we are lying. Do you hear God’s call today to love brothers and sisters?
Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on January 22, 2019.