“Fear no one,” Jesus tell us. But then in the very next sentence his warning leaves us quaking in our boots: “Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.” What He is talking about is revealed in what follows. Jesus doesn’t want us to conceal the Good News we’ve received – it’s not a secret message meant only for your ears. What He says to us is: speak in the dark what you’ve received in the light; what you heard whispered, shout from the roof tops. He tells again, do not be afraid.
Jesus illustrates his point another way: Two tiny sparrows can be sold for a few pennies yet not one of them falls to the ground without God’s knowledge. You doubt that? How can God keep count of all His creatures? Well, God doesn’t just keep a tally sheet of who and what and where. Even in these days of pandemic precautions, when hair stylists are only slowly opening their shops, and the number of strands and length of our hair is getting to be long and straggly, Jesus presses his point: “Do not be afraid; YOU are worth more than many, many small field birds. Don’t you know that even all the hairs of your head are counted by my Heavenly Father?
Then, He gives us an insurance policy – with life-time coverage. And, He lets us in on how this will work. “Everyone who acknowledges me before others, I will put in a good word for you with my heavenly Father. But woe to you who deny me before others; I will shake my head and tell my Father: “I do not know this one.”
The parting words of the Gospel selection leave us hanging – maybe feeling the very fear Jesus seeks to dispel. But with confidence we can pray the sentiments of the Responsorial Psalm (Ps 69): “I pray to you, O Lord, for the time of your favor. In your great kindness answer me with your constant help … in your great mercy turn toward me. See, and be glad; you who seek God, may your hearts be ever merry!
~Reflection by Sister Roberta Bailey, OSB, Prioress
First Reading Jeremiah 20:10-13 Second Reading Romans 5:12-15
Gospel Matthew 10:26-33