The veil has been torn asunder; the tomb has been opened; the wounds have been revealed. Easter time is about manifestation. Things are being uncovered, and truth abounds. We hear that Christ, after his Resurrection, comes to proclaim his triumph over death to his most intimate friends and family. They bring this proclamation to the ends of the earth. The Gospel writers are keen to report in their post-Resurrection accounts exactly how many times Jesus appeared to his disciples. The risen and glorified Jesus is looking to reveal truth and share his very life in his specific encounters with the beloved few.
Aletheia is the ancient Greek word for truth, and so it is the word used for truth in the Greek New Testament. For the Greeks, as the prominent 20th-century philosopher Martin Heidegger wrote, the etymology of this word had the sense of unconcealment or removal of a veil. In developing his philosophy of phenomenology, Heidegger spoke endlessly on this etymology. While one may not agree with his philosophical findings, his focus on trying to find the truth that reveals itself to us strikes a very Christian chord. He who is truth, Jesus the Christ, is always seeking us. Before the Resurrection, it may have been hard to recognize Jesus as the Christ because he came down to earth in such humble conditions and circumstances. He hid himself, but this was in preparation for his later manifestation in human history. Now, Jesus’ post-Resurrection encounters are full of unveiling. In the walk to Emmaus, we see this most poignantly. The risen Lord is hidden before Cleopas and the other disciple, but he slowly reveals himself to them in the truth of the Scriptures, and he illumines their minds and hearts. Still, it is not until the breaking of the bread at the Eucharistic table that Jesus manifests himself in the splendor of his resurrected body.
Just as goodness is diffusive of itself, truth seeks to manifest itself. He seeks to know us, we seek to know him, and he seeks to make himself known to us. The Metaphysics of Aristotle famously starts off with the claim that “all men desire by nature to know.” We seek to peel back the surface veil of things. When we learn a new truth, our mind’s eye becomes captivated because there is now something new to our human experience that may affect our lives. We cherish truth because it leads us deeper into reality, that which God has made for us. We also cherish truth because in seeking it we enter into the work of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus reminds us in the Gospel of John, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.” During Easter, Jesus seeks to encounter each of us with his truth, which is nothing other than his very self. Respond with humility to his invitation to live in the abundant truth, and he will satisfy your every desire.
Image: Matthias Stom, The Supper at Emmaus