Jesus said to the twelve, ‘A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!
‘So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.’
Jesus said to the twelve: What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops.
Our lives of faith should be rooted in our study of scripture and in our lives of prayer. To fully engage with scripture we need a place of solitude and peace. Similarly, when we enter that time of conversation with God, we need a place of solitude and peace. In today’s reading Jesus is urging us to remain steadfast in our reading and study of scripture, just as he is urging us to remain steadfast in prayer. It is through these times of peaceful contemplation that we will grow in faith. But, what then?
Jesus makes it clear that we should not keep our faith to ourselves. He makes it clear that what we learn in solitude and peace should be shared with the wider world. We are called to shine the light of Christ’s teaching, healing and deliverance amongst all those we encounter in the hustle and bustle of daily life.
All who recognise, acknowledge and accept Jesus’ call in their lives will be daunted by the prospect of being Christ’s representative in this increasingly sceptical world. But, we do not go forth in his name alone. Jesus has walked the road before us, and the Holy Spirit of God is in and with us every moment of every day. Jesus speaks of the faithful disciples acknowledging him before others. This should be at the core of our faith – our eagerness to acknowledge that the Kingdom of God has become a reality in this world through the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.
We are not called to do more than Jesus, but we are called to strive towards doing as much. Each of us is known to and loved by God. Each of us is valued by the God who made us in his own image. Each of us is called to celebrate and proclaim our Father who is in heaven. This will not always be easy but, if we are firm in our faith, we will be given the strength and the inspiration we need.
Let us pray that we might let go of our pride and self-regard in order that we might tell the good news in the bright light of day, and that we might proclaim the Good News from the housetops in order at all might hear.