Tell the Truth

Children’s Homily:
Good morning young people of St. John Vianney. Today in the Gospel Jesus says, Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! When Jesus says, ‘Woe to you,’ he means, you are in big trouble.
This reminds me of a man named Ananias, who lived back at the time of the Apostles. He got in big trouble! Ananias had some money that he was going to give to the apostles to help the poor; but he lied about it to St. Peter, and kept some for himself; Then St. Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has filled your heart, that you have lied? And at that moment, Ananias fell over dead.
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Lying is a real sin, and it displeases God. A person who tells even small lies easily, we can say that he has become a liar. People lie because they think that by telling the lie, their life will be easier, or they will avoid trouble or punishment.
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But do lies really get us out of trouble? Maybe for a short time, but then they get us into more trouble. When we tell lies, we are acting like the devil. He tells lies all the time.
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Lies are told for three reasons: a) because we think it will gain us something or make our life easier. For example, when mom asks what we were doing in the garage, if we say – just talking – but really, we were playing with matches, we told a lie, so that we would not get in trouble. But what happens? Maybe we start to become a dangerous, fire person?
Maybe the next day, we do it again, and we accidently start the garage on fire, and while it is burning to the ground, and dad is worried that he does not have the money to pay for it, and the car got burned up too – we wish we would have not told that lie in the first place.
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b) We might also lie because the lie will get us some pleasure. For example, dad says, if you get an A on your test, he’ll take you to the water park. And so when he asks you what grade you got, even though you got a B, you say you got an A, that is a lie. And though you go to the water park that day, you feel guilty, and when dad finds out you lied, you will be very unhappy, and you will say, ‘Why did I ever tell that lie!’
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c) The other reason we might lie, is to be cruel to another person. For example, we might tell a lie about our classmate, so that everyone thinks that person is bad, and I’m good. Such lies might make us look good for a moment, but soon, what happens? People find that we are not to be trusted. They call us a liar.
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To tell a lie about another person, is called calumny. To tell someone’s faults or sins, even if they are true to make the person look bad, that is called detraction.
A lady told me the trick to remember these two. Calumny has an ‘L’ in the middle of it – that is for a lie. Calumny tells lies about someone.
Detraction has a ‘tr’ in the middle of it – tr is for truth. Detraction tells a truth, but a bad truth about another person.
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We are never allowed to tell a lie, even if it seems to get us a good thing. We need not always share our knowledge when asked. But we may never lie.
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But if we have a habit of lying, we can change. We should confess all our lies in confession, and then promise Jesus that we will try to stop.
Before St. Peter became a great saint, he told a lie. When they asked him if he knew Jesus, he said: ‘I do not know him.’ He lied because he was afraid. But Peter was sorry, and he never lied again the rest of his life. So if St. Peter can stop lying, we can too, then we will be very happy, we will be a person of integrity, and others will always find us to be trustworthy.

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