June 25, 2023
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Jesus said to the Twelve: “Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.” Matthew 10:26
This line is spoken by our Lord within the context of preparing the Twelve for the persecutions that are to come. Prior to this passage, Jesus said, “But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans.” After saying much more about the persecutions to come, Jesus gives them a certain hope and encouragement in the passage above.
First of all, Jesus directly addresses one of the effects many people suffer when they encounter some form of persecution: fear. “Fear no one,” He says. Fear can consume a person when they lack faith in God’s care for them, allowing anxiety and worry to take hold. When we can keep our eyes fixed firmly on Christ and dispel the attacks we receive in life, then we will remain confident in God’s truth and not be deterred by lies.
Jesus is also very aware of the fact that fear can become overwhelming. This is especially the case when we must endure any form of severe persecution or trial. Therefore, He speaks a consoling line to the Twelve to help them have hope. “Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.” This is a reference to the end of time when Jesus returns to earth for the Final Judgment. At that time, every deceitful attack that people have endured will come to full light for all to see. Every virtue, including every hidden virtue, will also come to light. In the end, truth will reign and all will be judged by God’s Truth. This should be very consoling to those who have suffered injustice in life.
Persecution comes in many forms. Of course, persecution issued against you because of your faith is the worst form of persecution. But most often, persecution comes in other forms. Jealousy toward another could lead to gossip about them. Revealing the sins of another in a public way is the sin of detraction and is a form of persecution. Passive aggression, slander, the “silent treatment” and so much more are all forms of persecution. Any time one person attempts to inflict some form of harm upon another, this is persecution.
One common tendency that people encounter when another has harmed them in some way is to return the harm done. There is nothing wrong with defending ourselves by speaking the truth with love. But too often, the hurt experienced either turns into a consuming fear or into an attack against the one who harmed us. When this temptation is felt, Jesus’ words above are most helpful and freeing. In the end, no injustice will be ignored. Every wrong will be dealt with by the justice and mercy of God, and perfect order and truth will be fully restored for eternity.
Reflect, today, upon any struggle you have with fear. As you do, reflect upon Jesus’ words over and over. “Fear no one.” Do not allow yourself to be controlled by any injustice inflicted upon you. Instead, remain confident in the truth and, if some injustice is not able to be corrected here and now, look forward to the end of time when everything will be brought to light in accord with the mind and justice of God.
My courageous Lord, You endured so much ridicule and harsh treatment but never allowed it to deter You from Your divine mission of love. Please free me from all fear and give me courage when I face the injustices of life to trust that You will right every wrong in the end. Jesus, I trust in You.