Preserving our Integrity

TUESDAY: Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

2Mac.6:18-31/Ps.3:2-7/Lk.19:1-10


Preserving our Integrity


God in his omnipotence is determined to rebuild our human integrity (Is.62:1). Without integrity, the human soul is dysfunctional. Its judgment is seriously compromised. It will protect only its selfish ambitions and interests. Integrity and truth are inseparable. They live and die in a single act to protect the purity of the soul. In their absence, the soul dwells in absolute darkness. Integrity and truth are metaphors for the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Together they enlighten eyes of the soul, guide it out of darkness, and preserve its integrity unto eternity.


The story of Eleazar in 2 Maccabees 6:18-31 is a powerful witness of the inseparable nature of integrity and truth. Deception cannot save the truth. It cannot protect one’s integrity. Deception only makes one a false witness in the eyes of God and of men and women and a moral disaster for those who misinterpret a lie for truth or for honesty. Eleazar chose to die than to tell and act out a lie to preserve his life. He chose death over dishonesty and trickery.


Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10 similarly sacrificed his whole career by publicly confessing the truth about his dishonest practices. Zacchaeus understood that in the presence of the Life and the Truth it was impossible to conceal any form of duplicity (Ps.139). Consequently, he told it as is. He confessed his past errors and promised to make amends.


Both men taught us a powerful moral lesson on integrity and truth. However, the receptivity of Christ towards Zacchaeus demonstrates, indeed the pure in heart will see God (Matt.5:8). God is humankind’s greatest treasure. We lose God and we are eternally lost. Public opinion might oppose your conversion and hinder the growth of your integrity but the final decision to behave honourably until death rests with you and me.


O God, I live in a perverse world; preserve my sense of integrity.

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