The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home
June 21, 2020 – Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 10:26-33
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In my early twenties I noticed that my forehead seemed to be growing. Friends might comment that I should do something. I was unconcerned about this, mostly because I didn’t think I could fight the forces of nature. I had uncles who were mostly bald, so I figured I likely shared some of their genes. And sure enough, as I approached middle age, I became part of those very good-looking bald men in the world. I would smile whenever I heard this Sunday’s gospel when it mentioned that God knew the number of hairs on our heads. I thought that in my case this was no great accomplishment. It was my private joke with God.
Of course, Matthew was quite serious about noting this fact because he was writing to early Christians, many of whom knew persecution first-hand. They might wonder if God really knew the difficulties they faced. The gospel wanted to ensure them that God clearly did. God knew each of them along with all the details of their lives. Even the number of hairs on their head. If God knew that, well, God certainly knew all that we did, all that we faced, even our thoughts. And God cared about all of it.
We take comfort when we know that others care about us. Family life is strengthened when family members share their trials and troubles with each other. The same is true between friends. This kind of interpersonal knowledge – all the details of our lives shared - is the cement that keeps us together in good times and especially during difficult times.
God knows each of us intimately. Likely much more so than we realize. This is a good gospel to remind us that God is always with us, always wanting what is best for us, always available to help us through difficult times. And with us during the happy times too.
I like to recall that when Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana, his gesture of care (recall that it was at his mother’s urging) kept the party going. Jesus
helped to not only prevent what might have been an embarrassment to the newly married couple, but also contributed to the celebration by creating “the best wine.”
Too easily we slip into feeling we are alone or misunderstood. That nobody cares about us. The underlying message of this Sunday’s gospel is that God is always with us and is lovingly concerned about us in every detail – nothing is too small to be overlooked.
©David. M. Thomas, PhD