'Those whom divine Providence is leading towards holiness in this life are tested by the following three tests: by the gift of agreeable things, such as health, beauty, fine children, money, fame and so on; by afflictions causing distress, such as the loss of children, money and fame; and by bodily sufferings, such as disease, torture and so on. To those in the first category the Lord says, 'If a person does not forsake all that he has, he cannot be My disciple' (Luke 14:33); and to those in the second and third He says, 'You will gain possession of your souls through your patient endurance' (Luke 21:19).' - St. Maximos the Confessor: (580 –662: was a Christian monk, theologian, and scholar)
Gospel Text: (MT 10:24-33)
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“No disciple is above his teacher,
no slave above his master.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher,
for the slave that he become like his master.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul,
how much more those of his household!
“Therefore do not be afraid of them.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
When we say that God knows all “things”, what sorts of things are we talking about? Facts that would win God a championship on trivia shows? God knows all objective facts about science, history, etc. But God’s knowledge is not trivial.
God’s infinite knowledge extends to what is most personal. God knows every action you have ever done (or failed to do). God also knows every thought you’ve ever had, and every word you’ve ever said. He knows the hopes and desires of every human heart. He knows of every emotion you’ve ever felt, and of the circumstances that led to those emotions.
But in human earthly providence, knowledge leads to the will. God’s knowledge of you, as complete as it is (more complete, in fact, than even your own self-knowledge!), leads God only to love you more. At times, we hide ourselves from God, not understanding the depth of His providential knowledge and will. When we submit ourselves completely to God, we are more flexible in serving as an instrument of His peace.