He Counts The Very Hairs Of Your Head
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We return to the wonderful gospel of Matthew after a long break for Lent and Easter and the recent feasts. And we pick up on Jesus’ discourse to his apostles and disciples: he is encouraging them and us to not be afraid if you need to suffer for the sake of being a disciple (Matthew 10: 26 – 33). This is how you know you are on the right path. It also comes very close to what was proclaimed St. Peter recently: always be ready to give a reason for the hope you have inside of you. It might happen on the elevator or in Shop-rite, so be ready to give a reason for your joy, for your hope in God. People are looking for an answer!
To fear persecution because of your faith would be in some sense to remain at the level of the people who are persecuting you. It would mean that you accept their way of thinking, their mentality. Deep down you may be saying, “Yeah, this is too much.” So you are as afraid as they are.
No need to be afraid since in the end the truth will come out and it will triumph over the threats and persecution! Jesus gives you an invitation to believe in the plan of salvation for you. It is a plan to save your family, or someone in your office, or to protect your parents from a calamity. He is carrying out now! And he has called you to be part of it. His truth is already yours and the work that you are doing in His. In the end the truth of God will be manifested and you will be vindicated.
A time of concealment will be followed by a time of revelation, an unveiling. The word used in this gospel for veil originally meant the veil that covered the face of a bride. You are a bride of Christ. One day you will all be unveiled in all your beauty to be seen and to be loved by Christ.
The word veil can also mean the cloth that you put over a dead person. It could represent those who reject the embrace of Christ. They are the ones who are disfigured and smell under the veil of power and success. You choose which one you want to be the bride of Christ or the corpse! Gehenna was full of corpses of children sacrificed to the god Moloch; it was a horrible place.
What has been whispered to you in secret from the Lord now proclaim it from the roof tops in bright daylight. What they have first heard in secret, say it from the roof tope, which is the house of the Church. The disciples ascend to the rooftop in the morning to broadcast the good news they heard spending the night with the Lord.
This kerygma, this good news or announcement, which comes out of their mouths, has first entered their hearts and minds in their encounter with the living God. This proclamation is the result of this experience of Christ. Proclaim boldly what the Lord told you and has done for you, and do not be afraid. Ask the Lord to help us proclaim it from the rooftops.
A Christian is not one who never fears. He fears only what he ought to fear. We ought to fear of God, which means to choose what has eternal consequences, not passing things. Attend to the welfare of your soul. Have a healthy fear of God, not of man. Don’t care what they will do to your body, but worry about your soul.
Two sparrows have to be sold for a penny since one is too little for that price. Yet not ONE will fall to the ground without your father’s knowledge. As the market value on earth falls it rises in the heaven. Your father falls with each sparrow; he is not the stern judge that you think he is. Don’t you see his love for you, and all the things he has given you?
How can you count someone’s hair without running your fingers through it? Jesus did not say, “I know the number of hairs.” But all have been counted by me. He counts all the hairs so that he will recover each one of them. When the veil comes off the beauty of the bride of Christ will be seen by everyone!
Acknowledge him before the world, own up to him. Say before the world what is in your heart. Acknowledge means to say what you heard from him. Then Christ will acknowledge you before his Father. Not a bad deal! Courage, brothers and sisters, much is at stake today in the Church. Be part of God’s plan to save it, to make it thrive, and to bring peace to many souls.