daily biblical sermons

What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops
Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, Th.D.
Homily of Sunday, 12th Sunday of the Year, June 21, 2020
Jeremiah 20:10-13, Psalm 68, Romans 5:12-15, Matthew 10:26-33

Biblical quotations are taken from the Revised Standard Version unless otherwise noted




“So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell … So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:26-28, 32-33).



The Church is missionary by its very nature. Its mission in the world is an extension of Jesus’ mission in the world. What Jesus in many ways could only whisper to his disciples in the dark and in closed rooms, after Pentecost must be proclaimed by them from the housetops. As Jesus spoke in riddles and parables that the people generally did not clearly understand, after Pentecost his disciples are to speak openly, plainly, and clearly so that everyone can understand. “What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops” (Matthew 10:27).



What are we to proclaim? We are to preach from the housetops the basic New Testament kerygma or message, as we see it in the apostles’ preaching in the book of Acts, in the letters of St. Paul, and in the other New Testament letters. And what is that? It is the perennially important and vital message that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, promised to the Jews by God and eagerly awaited by them, and that he is the longed for Son of David who will bring salvation to his people, and not only to his people, but to the whole world so that everyone that believes in him might become a member of his people.



We are to preach that Jesus is the divine Son of God, equal to the Father in divinity, and that he was sent by the Father as our substitute to save us from our sins by suffering our death penalty for our sins for us on the cross so that all that put their faith in him and genuinely repent of their sins might be credited by God with his suffering and death on the cross as the suffering and death that they owe God for their sins, and so by their trusting faith in Christ, God will declare them righteous and reckon to them his own righteousness so that they might shine with the splendor the righteousness of God himself. This righteousness of God comes to us through our faith in Jesus Christ, because of his atoning death on the cross for our sins, whereby he made full reparation for them.



We are to proclaim this apostolic kerygma, this basic Christian message, from the housetops, whereby we invite those that hear us to put their trusting faith in Christ and genuinely repent of their sins with the intention of immediately amending their life. This brings about their justification before God, and if they faithfully follow his will, manifested in his normative biblically revealed moral law, when they die they will enter into the fullness of God’s kingdom in heaven.



We should also proclaim from the housetops the sacramental life of the Church, especially stressing baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of reconciliation. We are to stress these three sacraments, because baptism incorporates us into Christ and his Church, and the Eucharist makes present for us Jesus’ saving death on the cross for our benefit and gives us the food of eternal life, which is his body and blood in the form of bread and wine for the life of our spirit. And we should stress the sacrament of reconciliation, because it restores us to our justified state when we sin, which causes our new life with God either to be dimmed by venial sin or extinguished by mortal sin.



We are then re-justified by God through our faith in Christ, because of his redeeming, atoning, reparation-making death on the cross for our sins, and God’s justifying declaration that we are now righteous is powerfully communicated to us through the absolving words of the priest within this sacrament.



It is not easy to proclaim these things, and it is primarily the work of priests who are assigned to parishes where people come every Sunday, and even every day, to hear him preach the good news of God’s salvation now available in Jesus Christ (the gospel) and to partake in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.



But every Christian should also in his own way confess Christ fearlessly before people, as Jesus says today, “Every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).



How do we deny Christ before men? We do so by denying the doctrinal and moral truths that he has revealed to us in the Scriptures and that are confirmed in the constant and unbroken Tradition of the Church. Who today denies Christ before men? Those that are denying Christ and his teaching before men today are those that that proclaim that the abominable sins that we see promoted all around us are good, namely abortion, so-called same-sex “marriage,” homosexual acts, transgenderism, euthanasia, assisted suicide, suicide, masturbation, and artificial contraception.



How can people that promote such abominable sins be acknowledged by the heavenly Father on the day of judgment, unless they repent for denying of Christ and the values and morality that God has revealed to us in the Scriptures, and which the Church confirms in her constant and unbroken Tradition?



Who, on the other hand, are those that acknowledge Christ before men? They are those that repudiate these abominable sins and publicly acknowledge the dignity of human life and the normative biblically revealed moral teachings that God has revealed to us.



Just take a look around you at the world today and at this country (the United States of America) in an election year, when each side is proclaiming its platform and thereby revealing its true nature, and ask yourself whether it will be easy to publicly acknowledge Christ and proclaim him and his moral truths, particularly those concerning sexual morality, which are now openly denied and repudiated by a large section of this country. Simply asking the question this way makes the answer obvious, namely that anyone that seeks to proclaim Christ and his mission to the world and the values and morality that he stands for will have a hard time of it and will make many enemies, for this is no longer a clearly Christian country.



Many people today that still claim to be Christians have in reality renounced basic Christian values and morality. So to proclaim Christ and basic Christian morality, especially Christian sexual morality, is to fly in the face of vast numbers of people that openly deny and angrily repudiate everything that we will say. This is the battle today, namely that people that call themselves Christians and self-identify as Christians no longer accept basic and fundamental Christian teachings, values, and morality, but have publicly renounced and rejected them and are literally proclaiming from the housetops their own counter gospel, which is an anti-gospel.



They proclaim imaginary “rights” that have no existence outside of their own heads, such as the so-called woman’s “right” to murder her child in her womb. Since when does a moral evil become a human right or a woman’s right or a civil right? Things like this only become “rights” in the mind of a person that has rejected basic Christian morality. Such abominable sins never become basic human rights or women’s rights. What is a moral evil, an abomination before God, and a grave sin always remains not a human right but an objective grave sin, and those that promote these abominations, unless they repent, will not be acknowledged by Christ before his heavenly Father, for they have not acknowledged him, but rather have denied him before men, as Jesus says today, “Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33).



As long as we are still alive, there is still time to genuinely repent and begin to authentically confess Jesus Christ and the Christian way of life that he has revealed to us.



So if we acknowledge Christ before people, we will be opposed, but we should not fear opposition. Rather, we should fear God who can destroy us body and soul in hell forever for having denied him and rejected his revelation, as Jesus says today, “Do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).



Those that can kill the body but not the soul are those that reject Christ and his basic moral teachings; but the one that can destroy us both body and soul in hell is God, and he is the one whom we should fear to offend by denying Christ and the basic Christian morality that he has revealed to us.



The worst possible thing that worldly people, who have long since rejected basic Christian values, can do to us is to kill us, and this will put us immediately in the presence of God if we are martyred for our faith.  But if we fear the world, instead of fearing God, God can do far worse to us, for he can damn us forever in hell.



Jesus was hated and attacked for everything he preached, and he told us that we, his disciples, should not expect better treatment than he himself received. So as confessing Christians, we must expect to have enemies that hate and detest both us and what we preach. But this should not deter us. “It may bring on us laughter, mockery, persecution, and scorn. But let us not be laughed out of heaven” (JC Ryle, 1856) by failing to acknowledge Christ publicly for fear of being laughed at by the world that has rejected Christ.

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