Daily Reflection
September 24th, 2007

Eileen Wirth

Journalism Department
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“For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.”

As a young newspaper reporter long before the era of Google and Facebook, I had almost daily reminders of the truth of today’s Gospel. You had better be extremely careful how you live because “there is nothing hidden that will not become visible and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.”

Ringggg. “Hello, I can’t tell you my name (or maybe they would) but I think that someone at the paper should know XXXX.” The usually anonymous callers would then recount what they knew and how they had learned it. Often their reports dealt with alleged sexual misconduct. Some politician was having an affair or Judge So and So had a porn collection – you name it.

Reporters also learned that our sources were scrutinizing us. One woman whom I scarcely knew, for example, questioned my ability to do a particular story because her opponent was married to someone from my home town.

Every office has its “know all/tell all.” Every family has a gossipy Aunt Clara who monitors the dress and behavior of the younger generation and spends Mass checking up on who else is there. None of us can escape.

Jesus had His own problems with the gossips and virtue police of His era. They were undoubtedly the people who told the Pharisees whenever He consorted with sinners or violated the letter of the Sabbath laws. Jesus knew he was under constant public scrutiny – that whatever he did would not remain secret.

So what does this all mean to us?

We all make mistakes that we would prefer to keep quiet. We know that God will judge us for them but do we have to parade them before the whole town?

No. There are reasons for the Seal of the Confessional. But refusing to face our mistakes and make amends for them just worsens the original error. Cover-ups almost guarantee that what we have tried to hide will become visible. At least if we have tried to atone to God and others for our misdeeds we will recover better when our secrets come to light.

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