Thank you for your interest in joining the Liar’s Club. You have been approved for membership. I would introduce you to the other members, but it would take an awfully long time to meet seven billion people. Don’t worry. You don’t have to learn everyone else’s name. Just call each of us Pinocchio.
I discovered the Liar’s Club during the Easter season. When I was looking at the Mass readings for the third Sunday of Easter, the second reading (1 JN 2:1-5A) really stood out, especially one sentence in particular which I will bold for emphasis:
My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments.
Those who say, “I know him,” but do not keep his commandments are liars; and the truth is not in them.
But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him.
Did you catch that? John just called me a liar. And he called you a liar too. That is very powerful. If you say you know God but do not keep his commandments, you are a liar. Now you can see why the Liar’s Club is so crowded.
The third Sunday of Easter was also the day of my monthly volunteer shift to assist with communion services at the county jail. I had the opportunity to give a brief reflection about the day’s readings and took some time to stress that bolded sentence from the second reading.
I cannot read minds, but based upon my observations of the expressions, nods and other body language in the room, I am quite sure that the statement about being a liar if you say you know God but don’t follow the commandments resonated profoundly with several people, just the same way that it did for me.
Most of us already know that we are sinners, but for some reason the phrasing from that reading really put things into serious perspective, and I kept thinking about for several days.
Then a few weeks later that same Bible verse crept back into my mind when I attended a men’s ACTS retreat* coordinated by my parish. While the particulars of my experience are not for public discussion, I can tell you that I need to work harder not to be a liar. We are all the same in the eyes of God and we all need to get to know Him better.
So now that you are in the Liar’s Club, you probably want to get out as quickly as possible, don’t you? The good news is you can cancel your membership at any time. All you have to do is examine your conscience and follow these ten simple rules:
- I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.
- You shall not take the name of your Lord your God in vain.
- Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.
- Honor your father and mother.
- You shall not kill.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bare false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s spouse.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
If you don’t meet the qualifications to terminate your Liar’s Club membership then it is time to seek the sacrament of Reconciliation. After receiving absolution your Liar’s Club membership will be rescinded immediately.
Sooner or later you will stumble and find yourself back in the club. Not to worry. Just head back to confession. I’ll see you in line.
*If you’ve never been on an ACTS retreat, go on one as soon as possible. Trust me!