Occasion: Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time
You can find the full readings here. This Lectio is based on the Gospel reading, Matthew 10:26–33.
Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
fear no one, revealed, proclaim on the housetops, acknowledge, deny
Jesus reminds us that nothing is hidden from God. He knows what good we do for each other, and the harm we may cause. The Twelve are being told that as they proclaim the Kingdom of God, there will be those who ignore and even attack them for this. Jesus reminded them to be strong and to continue to spread the Good News. They may be hurt or killed, but their souls will live on with him.
This message is for us as well. It can be difficult to do what we know is right, especially if we are ridiculed for it. This can be as simple as friends chiding us for getting up in the morning for church instead of sleeping in. It can be as vital as speaking up for someone at work who may be falsely accused of wrongdoing. It might be easier to hold our breath and wait for the situation to blow over, but God sees everything. He sees us when we share His Kingdom; He sees others when others ridicule us for it; and He sees us if we hide it under a bushel.
It is easy to think how we might acknowledge Jesus; through acts of love and charity, through prayer and receiving the sacraments. How might we deny Jesus? Of course, it could be through acts of hate and spite. Also, by not doing what we should. If we ignore those less fortunate than us, or show no concern for the needs of others, might we then be denying Jesus?