Our First Reading today comes from one of the most dramatic scenes from the Book of Revelation: art-breaking scenes in all of Scripture: “I, John, had a vision of an open door to heaven, and I heard the trumpetlike voice that had spoken to me before, saying, ‘Come up here and I will show you what must happen afterward.'” This remarkable revelation of how things end up in life with each of us face to face with Christ is so overwhelming in ways that we may not have ever imagined. It calls us all to a sincere depth of faith and true integrity of life that is unfortunately sparsely witnessed today and is desperately and sorely needed. What is integrity? Some have stated that it is the choice we make when confronted with doing what is convenient or what is right. It is how Jesus lived and died and thus calls us to emulate: “Worthy are you, Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created.”
If the central theme of our Readings today is, in fact, the integrity of life, then the Gospel makes perfect sense: “I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” The gift and presence of integrity in a person’s life give true and lasting freedom. Why? Because if we live complete and honest lives, we have nothing to fear because we have nothing to hide. Therefore, we are guided by such a strong inner principle that we move toward the right thing to do in every circumstance, every opportunity because there is no pathetic guilt to stand in the way. Selfish, weak, and dishonest folks lose what little self-respect they have to get by and be liked. You see, “image” is what we want people to think of us and work hard to maintain; integrity is the real story. It is who we know we are before God.
“Integrity is telling myself the truth. Honest is telling the truth to other people.” Spencer Johnson