The first part of today's reading tells of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. We will not focus on that part of the story.
The chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate, telling him of Christ's prediction that He would rise again on the third day. Either they were afraid that his resurrection would make people believe in Him all the more, or they were actually afraid that His disciples would perpetrate a fraud to further His reputation.
Which ever it was, they persuaded Pilate to put a seal and a guard on the tomb.
How often do we do this? How often do we know things about ourselves and our lives that we would prefer others not know, so we seal them up?
Integrity is all about wearing the same face to the world that you wear to your intimate friends and to yourself. That doesn't mean you must bare your heart to strangers. It does mean, that what little you show of yourself to strangers is of the same quality as your innermost thoughts.
I love red onions. I like the aroma, the flavor, the color. When I pick up a red onion to prepare, the outer husk is a little dry, so I peel it off and discard it. Every layer has a red skin and white inner flesh. Each layer has the same moistness, flavor, and aroma. And as I get to the middle, the layers are a little thicker than the outer layers.
Our true faces need to be like that. There is a slightly drier outer husk that we show to the entire world. It is just like the remainder of the onion, just a little thinner and less juicy. This is our surface.
But this surface reflects the heart. When I look for onions in the market, I can choose from red or white or yellow. When I choose, I know the interior will be the same color as the exterior. I won't pick up a yellow onion that has a red interior.
Sometimes we try to show a different face to the world than what we are inside. It never works. The truth will out, just as Christ was resurrected from the dead. No matter the guard and seal we put on the place where we try to bury the truth, we cannot hold it captive.
When we try to bury the truth, we deceive only ourselves. God knows who we are from our inmost being. He knows that we are not happy until we are "all of a piece" - an integer - a whole unit.
He has sent the Holy Spirit to help us become one - one in ourselves and one with Him. Just as He is truth, so we must also be truth. True to Him, to ourselves and the world around us.
Help us to be all that we seem to be. Make us complete in You. Let us reflect only You to the world around us.
In Jesus' most precious name.