"Every hair on your head has been counted."
12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Matthew chapter 10, verses 26-33

In a world starving for compassion, with a people whose worth was measured in money and influence, the Word of The Lord must have sounded dangerously revolutionary to the privileged few, but soothing and comforting to the masses. "Every hair on your head has been counted by one who knows you as only God can know." There is no need to be afraid. Even if you are the humblest, the most faceless of all, you are thoroughly known and deeply loved by God whose power and influence is such that even Caesar must, sooner or later, bow before Him.

Today in our enlightened age of social justice and civil rights, the forgotten roots of which are of Christian heritage, Jesus' message is said, by influential secular humanists, to be dated and only of historic interest.

In the meantime those struggling people of our western civilization who take some pride in living in what they have been taught to call the post-Christian era are increasingly plagued by nervous breakdowns, anxiety depression, suicide, sexual merry-go-rounds, and of course alcohol, drug, porn and gambling addiction.

Surely this is not characteristic of people who believe that they are significant...that they are known, loved and respected and this regardless of the disappointment, frustration or disillusionment encountered in their lives. Quite the opposite! This is far more characteristic of people who have little appreciation of their dignity, worth or significance.

How often have YOU felt anonymous and totally dispensable in the impersonal atmosphere of a huge high school, university, factory, prison, shopping centre, office complex, strange city? Some feel that way every day...all day...and very deeply.

Have you ever seen someone drop dead in a crowd? People often look away and pretend not to see.

God always looks and sees and is concerned. That is what He is telling us this morning.

Now some of you have been following what I have been trying to say and have, in turn, been trying to derive comfort and hope from it and are probably now thinking that loving God and being loved by Him is perhaps enough to keep the saints smiling through it all; but to the average person, in the face of tragedy, meanness, hostility, illness, selfishness and whatever else, it is just not enough!

You are SO right! God's loving concern is real and unwavering but it can be lacking in expression. This is because its temporal application is usually dependent upon men and women as agents. Jesus is the primary expression of Divine love and concern. Christians must transmit that love or cripple the Divine plan. In other words, God needs us to be an expression of His loving concern.

Therein is at once our primary value to society and, very often, our principal source of comfort.

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