Twelfth Sunday, Year A, 25 June, 2023: Jeremiah 20:10-13; Romans 5:12-25; Matthew 10:26-33
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known, says Jesus.
I remember as a teenager how I hungered to be known and understood by someone, no longer isolated in my secrets or the baffling discoveries of those years. Of course I barely knew or understood myself and no one seemed to recognize my aspirations. Who wanted to know what was hidden below the surface?
Would anyone else, glimpsing that intense jumble of drives and contradictory desires, approve? Would they recoil with revulsion? Isn’t hiding my inner world, however, the source of my fears and distrust of you and your unknowns?
Jesus reveals that God is not some disapproving subject shrouded in religious formalities but that vibrant presence within, knowing me without repugnance or alienation. God may be calling me to become more, but I am already known by God. My inner core, positive, negative or neutral, is a precious foundation for growth in God; and no bodily harm can damage it.
…do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul…
Bodily harm can come to me, but in God’s sight I am more than a mortal body: what could damage my deepest self? Could pain or diminishment or physical annihilation ever be the end of the story?
But this path is costly: I must learn to know what I can about myself, name my fears and risk articulating my secrets. If I loosen my grip on life as a possession might I not receive life as God’s gift?