Sunday, June 25
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 10: 26 – 33
Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
The vast number of politicians are boring. “Boring” in the good sense, in that they are honest civil servants raising their families while striving to enact legislation that benefits the populace. They are so “boring” that most of us cannot name our federal, state, city, or other elected representatives.
But the popular stereotype of the “sleazy and amoral politician,” is probably due to the deluge of media attention that a political scandal attracts. Scandal sells, and it sells very well. Long before 24-hr news channels arose, American newspapers were full daily of the outrageous allegations of scandal thrown about by Jackson and Adams in the 1828 presidential election. Allegations of murder, bigamy, and elitism were followed by — in an instance of “past is prologue”– questions of what exactly went on in those conversations Adams had with Czar Alexander when he was the first U.S. minister to Russia.
When we see how much attention even allegations of scandal gets, one wonders why some politicians think they can get away with actual scandal. Whether it is bribery, cronyism, or just that worn chestnut of marital infidelity, unscrupulous politicians forget the warning of Our Lord in today’s Gospel: “Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.”
We can be thankful that most politicians– and most of us– are too boring to merit the attention of the entire press. All of us have parts of our life that we struggle at, or in which we suffer humiliating failures, and would like to keep private. Our spiritual life is no different. The Sacrament of Confession is done quietly in the privacy of the confessional, not in the sanctuary before the eyes of the entire congregation.
But Our Lord is reminding us of the price of true Christian discipleship. Our entire life must be Christian. We cannot wall off the person we are on Sunday morning from other aspects of our life. We must strive to acknowledge our Father and Jesus Christ before our neighbors, coworkers, and others through the way we live our lives. We must strive to do our Christian duty quietly and without fanfare. We must live our lives so that, if our actions were ever subjected to the scrutiny of the entire press, all that would be unearthed is just how Christian and “boring” our lives have been.