“Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid.” Can it really be true? Is our heavenly Father actually so aware of us? Does the Creator of the universe pay that much attention to ME? Jesus says yes. God knows us far more intimately than we even know ourselves. And so, we have nothing to fear.
Being Christian isn’t guaranteed to be easy. More and more even in our own culture, following the faith is being criticized and discouraged in the public square. Privately, we may struggle with the demands of the commandments or the ability to believe when we face the inevitable trials that come our way. But passages like this one in today’s Gospel are a source of tremendous hope and consolation. We are LOVED beyond measure. We enjoy the care and concern of God in every situation, big and small. Truly we have no need to worry or be anxious because God is in control.
For our part, of course, Jesus asks us to trust him and stay faithful. He asks us not to apologize for our faith, especially publicly. “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.” When we live our faith with confidence, it’s a way of accepting the power and providence of God. But when we try to hide our faith away because we’re afraid of causing problems, we only damage our relationship with the One who can actually solve them.
At the end of the day, the only really serious problem we need to worry about is losing our soul–and that, to be sure, is up to us. As the great French novelist Léon Bloy wrote, “There is only one tragedy in the end: not to have been a saint.”