Gospel: Matthew 10: 26-33
This past Wednesday, June 21st, was the official beginning of Summer and sometimes called the longest day of the year. The day had twenty-four hours like every other day, but what makes it long is that it was the day on which those of us in the Northern hemisphere experienced the longest period of daylight. As the days and weeks led up to the solstice it was noticeable how early the sun rose each morning and how late we had sunlight into the evening. On the other side of the solstice the amount of sunlight will slowly decrease. These are times when we enjoy a lot of daylight for our work or leisure. Most people prefer the light to darkness, the long days of Summer to the short days of Winter.
In the Gospel for this weekend Jesus uses the image of darkness and light to make his point that in the presence of God everything will come to light. Those who live in darkness and work to destroy the message of Christ will be, in the end, disappointed. The person who walks in the light of Christ, even if the evil hidden in darkness attacks and destroys the body, the soul will live on. For the person who is of the light has a soul sanctified and fortified by Christ himself. In the book of Revelation the heavenly Jerusalem is described as a “city that has no need of the sun or moon, for the glory of God gave it light.” Rev. 21,23 How is it possible for one to have such a personal presence of God and His protection in our lives? It is possible and it is a reality because of God’s personal love for us. In Psalm 139 we have the beautiful verse that tells us, “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.” God is with at our creation, for God is our creator. He knows us better than we know ourselves. We are more precious to him than all his other creations to the point in which the hairs on our head are counted.
God is involved in our lives from the very beginning and continuously pours out his love into our lives. His presence is a light that outshines any darkness, and when it reveals the darkness of sin, Jesus responds with mercy and forgiveness. Ultimately it is a love and relationship that calls us to him in eternal life. However, as great as God’s love is it does not force us to receive his love or to love him in return. A constant in our relationship with God is the free will given to us so that we make the decision to accept God or not to accept him. In accepting God into our lives we open ourselves to receive all that comes with His presence; the light that overcomes any darkness in our lives, the peace that surpasses anxiety and fear, and ultimately his Sacramental Presence that nourishes us on our journey to eternal life.
The Lord cares for us in ways that are difficulty for us to comprehend. How can he have every hair on our head counted? Which I see as a way of saying he knows every cell of our bodies, he knows every thought that enters our minds, and he knows all the emotions that flow through our hearts. God’s knowledge of us is not merely information that God can use against us, it is the intimate understanding of our bodies, minds and hearts that he can respond to in ways that invite us to open our hearts more to him. May we give God permission to draw closer to us and help us live peacefully in his light.
Father Killian Loch, O.S.B.