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Wednesday, February 5, 1997

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St. Agatha

Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15
Psalm 103
Mark 6:1-6

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having our differences

"Do not disdain the discipline of the Lord." —Hebrews 12:5

When many of today's Christians hear about the discipline of the Lord, they think of getting up early for Mass, being faithful to daily prayer and Bible reading, fasting, and persevering in a commitment. When the writer of Hebrews thought of discipline, he thought of Christians having their blood shed (Heb 12:4) and being martyred. The people to whom the book of Hebrews was addressed also knew discipline to be public insult and trial, imprisonment, and the confiscation of their possessions by the government (Heb 10:33-34). Our disciplines seem to be luxuries compared with their discipline.

The difference in the ways we and the Hebrews look at discipline shows that we live in different times. Violent persecution has not hit that close to home for most of us. However, our differences may also indicate that our lives in Christ are watered-down, sissified, non-threatening to the devil, and sinfully bland. What do you think?

Prayer:  Father, I come to light a fire on the earth (see Lk 12:49).

Promise:  "Strive for peace with all men, and for that holiness without which no one can see the Lord. See to it that no man falls away from the grace of God; that no bitter root springs up through which many may become defiled." —Heb 12:14-15

Praise:  Peter denied Christ three times. Agatha, as she was being tortured, was asked three times to deny Christ. She held fast to Jesus each time and received the crown of life (see Rv 2:10).

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Obedience School.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 1, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 6, 1996