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Sunday, August 22, 2004

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21st Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 66:18-21
Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13
Psalm 117
Luke 13:22-30

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"the discipline of the lord" and the lord of the discipline

"Someone asked Him, 'Lord, are they few in number who are to be saved?' " —Luke 13:23

To be saved, we must confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord (Rm 10:9). However, we human beings have trouble saying "Yes" when we mean "Yes" and "No" when we mean "No" (Mt 5:37). We have trouble telling the truth because we speak from our hearts' abundance (Lk 6:45) and our hearts are twisted and deceitful (Jer 17:9). We must find a way to straighten out our twisted hearts so we can truly acknowledge Jesus as Lord.

The Lord has given His beloved sons and daughters the gift of disciplines. By God's grace, discipline makes "straight the paths you walk on" (Heb 12:13). The Lord works through discipline to make straight even our twisted, deceitful hearts. Therefore, we must "not disdain the discipline of the Lord" (Heb 12:5). At first, "all discipline seems a cause for grief and not for joy, but later it brings forth the fruit of peace and justice" (Heb 12:11). By accepting the discipline of discipleship, we can truthfully accept Jesus as our Lord and our Justice (see 1 Cor 1:30). Thank the Lord for the discipline of our daily crosses; of our vocations; of our call to almsgiving, prayer, and fasting; and for our responsibility to forgive and love even our enemies.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me how Your discipline fits into Your plan of salvation.

Promise:  "So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight the paths you walk on, that your halting limbs may not be dislocated but healed." —Heb 12:12-13

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Lord of His disciples and Lord of discipline.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Obeying God on audio AV 62-3 or video V-62.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004