Do not be afraid, “Nothing that is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.” Jesus has just been instructing his disciples as they prepared to go out on their first missions to the towns and villages of Israel to proclaim the good news. He gives it to them straight too. He is sending them like sheep among the wolves. He tells them that they will be hated, and most likely be persecuted. He exhorts them to remain humble and to take courage.
He tells them, “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the rooftops” (verse 27) In other words, what he has been teaching them in the solitude of the desert, or under the trees of a garden, or in the quiet of small houses, they are to now go out to the world and proclaim what he has taught them, to essentially, shout it from the rooftops, joyfully. This, of course, is the reason why many will find them troubling and persecute them. The good news will unnerve some, make others uncomfortable, angry, and even fearful. But Jesus tells them, and us, “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 the soul and body in hell” (verse 28).
In essence, the disciples were being sent out to acknowledge to the world what they had come to recognize in Jesus. “Whoever acknowledge me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven” (verse 32) Is this not what we are all called to do? And, in knowing the great secret that Jesus is the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world, is it not our joy to shout this secret from the rooftops? What we have been taught in our churches, in the quiet of our homes, or from our reading and meditation on the Bible, and from the whispered voice of the Holy Spirit in the secret, quiet depths of our souls, is what we are challenged to proclaim openly to the world.
Of course there is another side to this too. There are many things that are kept “secret” from the world, because they are products of our sins. How often do we try to keep our sins from being revealed to the world? The lie is the principal means by which we try to keep our sins secret, and in the dark. But these will be revealed, these cannot be concealed from God, or from others ultimately. When we lie are we not often found out? And when this happens, we do have reason to fear. It is foolish to think that our sinful desires and actions can be kept in the dark, held secret from God. These will be revealed.
Lord, give us the courage to live our lives in the light of truth. Give us the graces we need to proclaim your love in our homes, our schools, our places of work, and wherever we go. Let us not keep secret the gift of your love and salvation for all the world. Let us acknowledge you in word and deed, so that you can acknowledge us before the Father. We pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen!
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