“There is nothing secret that will not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:17).
Pope Francis recently discussed with reporters on the papal plane his frustration with critics who use rumors and anonymous sources to air their complaints. He said he welcomed open disagreement, but insisted that people who disagree with him be open to dialogue in order to resolve questions and problems.
We sense this same frustration by Jesus with critics who lacked transparency, who were ready to throw stones from the crowd without having to identify themselves or engage in honest discussion of differences. Jesus welcomed dialogue and praised openness. He told his disciples to let their light shine by holding it up for all to see instead of hiding it under a bushel basket or under the bed.
Jesus then proclaimed a truth that has been affirmed by history: “There is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and there is nothing secret that will not be known.” We learn this every day from politicians who try to cut secret deals or spread distortions about their opponents. The truth eventually comes out, to the shame of those who have tried to manipulate public opinion with half-truths or through surrogates.
Victims of slander and false accusations often suffer for a long time before the truth prevails. Many innocent people wait for years in prison for exoneration and recompense. But their hope even under prolonged suffering still rests on their belief that the truth will eventually come out. This assurance can only come from God, who guarantees the ultimate outcome of any justice cause and the power of truth to stand up to power.
We witness this belief in Jesus himself, who went to the cross entrusting his cause to his Father, the God of justice. Even death could not silence the truth of his word or cover up the light of his revelation of God’s sovereignty. We walk with him in the light by living transparently and truthfully as his disciples.