Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

(Hebrews 12:4-7.11-15; Mark 6:1-6)

Disciplinary action is not necessarily punitive.  Parents should inculcate discipline by insisting that children do their chores and arrive at appointments on time.  The author of the Letter to the Hebrews sees God acting in this way when He allows His people to undergo trial. 

Throughout the letter the author has urged his readers not to give up on Christ.  He has assured them that Christ is in the perfect position to help them.  In today’s passage he asserts that if they experience trials, they should consider their suffering a discipline.  He would say that Christ does not mean to punish them and much less is he unable to help them.  In the author’s estimation Christ only intends to make his people stronger for having experienced hardship.

Trials often give us pause to think.  “Why must I suffer?” we may ask.  We are wise to look at the cross when faced with such a challenge.  Jesus suffered much more than we.  He did it patiently, humbly, and willingly, not because he deserved it but for our sake.  He suffered that we might be freed of the self-absorption that grips us.  Now we should be ready to suffer with him for the sake of others.

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