The gospel from Friday, the Feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch, which is taken from the gospel of St. Luke (Lk 12,1-7), has some of my favorite passages: “There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known…Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.”
My mother worked all her life as a nurse. When I was young and my mother was at work, I figured that I could take liberties and do things that I knew she would not have allowed me to do. I figured that she would never know what was going on and so there would be no problem. I was wrong. When she came home, my mother always knew what I had been doing and she would ask me about it. I asked her how she knew what I had done and she just would say that, “A little bird told me.” I had failed to take into account my mother’s friendship with the birds. I learned a very valuable lesson, you could not keep anything secret from my mom. She knew and she would always know. Even though she was at work and occupied with other things, she would not forget us or be far from us. Even when she was absent, she was present. That’s how love is.
Sometimes we think the same way about God. We think that he is far away from us and occupied with more important things and that he has no thought for us, that he has forgotten us and is not paying any attention to what is going on in our lives. We begin to think, “Does God really care about what I do? Does he really have any idea what is going on in my life?” The psalmist takes up this question of the absence of God in Psalm 73: “They say, “Does God really know?” “Does the Most High have any knowledge?” Such, then, are the wicked, always carefree, increasing their wealth.” (Ps 73,11f) We struggle with the sense of the absence of God and so we go about doing whatever we want to do. We are wrong. God never forgets us and he is never far from us. He is always thinking about us and watching over us. Jesus assures us in the gospel that nothing is hidden from God and that God is aware and he knows and pays attention to everything: sparrows, hairs and those he loves.
Jesus also encourages us to not be afraid. The knowledge of the Father is not for condemnation but for salvation. God keeps an eye on us because he loves us. Just like my mother. She kept tabs on me because she loved me and wanted the best for me. You couldn’t keep a secret from my mom, you certainly can’t keep one from God. “Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.” (1Pt 5,7) I’m glad my mom cared enough to keep a watch out for me and I am glad that God is watching over me in his love.