“Do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.” Many of us are no doubt aware of the saying that spouts the basic truth that often, too often, really, we do not appreciate something or someone until their absence is felt. Conversely, we could also make the case that we cannot know true maturity and growth in any field or endeavor until we experience discipline, moments of sorrow over the lack of something or the true and vivid realization that everything we have and cherish can be taken away literally overnight. Having said this, we can appreciate and fully understand what the First Reading is attempting to impart to us in the most clear and emphatic of ways. The Lord loves us so much that at times we all need correction, amendment and the deep lessons by which we can truly appreciate who we are and what we have.
“So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.” The people in the Gospel today clearly have not been disciplined. They were either too far removed from the spiritual journey to know any better or so jaded and entitled that they so deeply and unfortunately thought of themselves as not needing salvation or healing. In any event, their lack of strength and integrity brought on by healthy, internal and spiritual discipline cost them the insight to recognize and thereby receive any miracle that everyone is deeply created to receive. Even Jesus was amazed. Open your hearts today for the miracle that you need and have the faith and courage which exists because we have accepted the discipline of the Lord and begin living a deep, holy life.
“God our Father, source of strength for all your saints, you led Paul Miki and his companions through the suffering of the cross to the joy of eternal life. May their prayers give us courage to be loyal until death in professing our faith. Through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”