Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Do some things in life make you squirm? Do you try to shake off something that feels uncomfortable either physically or mentally?
Perhaps even the word of God can cause the same reaction. Today we hear in the letter to the Hebrews and in the Holy Gospel things that can make you squirm. When we hear those words about discipline an unease can come upon us. Who in the world likes discipline?. Its no accident that the words “disciple” and “discipline” come from the same root: Latin “disciplina” meaning “teaching.” As disciples of the Lord, we are taught through discipline. We need that discipline when we are tempted to compromise our ethics or ignore our conscience and do something we shouldn’t or fail to do something we should. Hebrews reminds us today that God’s discipline is given out of love, to keep our conscience strong and our feet on the narrow path.
In the holy Gospel Our Lord tells us to continue the journey of Faith by “coming through the narrow door”. That, of course, requires discipline. The discipline of shedding our sinful barnacles that we have allowed to attach to us and keep us from moving swiftly and unencumbered to final destiny. Confession scrapes the hull of our souls and permits us to continue the journey. There is always the danger of presuming the mercy of God. Indeed He is all merciful but sometimes that mercy requires discipline. Our heavenly Father wants only what is best for us and if at times that requires us to be disciplined then in humble surrender we trust Him to do what is best for us. Let us not try to squirm out of the discipline God may prescribe for us but be confident that we will be better as a result.