I used to coach baseball. As a player, I may never have hit a home run, but as a coach I always tried to pass on one of my best skills to the players I coached. I was a master at stealing second base. The only time I was ever “picked off” was once when I tried to steal home base. Both silly and arrogant of me.
By mid-season just about every player could steal second base at will. And I never used baseball signals to communicate to the runner what I wanted him/her to do. I simply said, “Go down on this pitch.” This was always overheard by the first base player who promptly told the pitcher and catcher of the plan. If the runner was coached well, and he/she was, they could get to second base standing up. There was no point keeping our plan to steal second base a secret, because we knew how to do it, we wanted to do it and we were going to do it.
So, in today’s Gospel (Matthew 10:24-39) Jesus says, “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known.”
The Church, as I have known and loved it, is without secrets. What we proclaim we proclaim from the housetops. No secrets. And because of this there will be those, according to Matthew’s Gospel, who don’t like us. There are easier ways to become popular – if that’s what we want. Instead, we proclaim Christ – crucified, resurrected and coming again and a Savior who calls us to proclaim God’s love for us and for our enemies.
We know how to do what we’ve been called to do, we want to do it, and we’re going to do it. Sure, there are those who would like to throw us out but there is new life on second base, when we’ve done God’s will.
There! That wasn’t too much of a seventh inning stretch, was it?