“THE LORD DISCIPLINES HIM WHOM HE LOVES” (Heb 12:6)
⏰Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time 1 (06 February 2019 – Memorial of St. Paul Miki and Companions)
📖Heb 12:4-7, 11-15; Ps 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18a (R.v.17ab); Mark 6:1-6
Are you among those who have been making great effort to worship God in spirit and in truth, and yet, things are not going well for you? It could even be that there is one person beside you who is undeniably evil, yet he thrives in all he does while you suffer.
Don’t worry! Be happy! It does not mean that you are not doing well. Heb 12:4-15 tells us that the Lord allows trials upon those he loves because he does not want them to go astray. It could be that if he grants you what you desire, you will grow to forget God. That would be a disaster! Trials are not for evil purposes; they serve to strengthen our faith (Jam 1:2-3). But they sometimes also purify us for eternal life.
St. Paul Miki and Companions went through such trial and embraced martyrdom bravely at a time when being identified as a Christian in Japan means death, mostly through crucifixion. Jesus allowed them to pass through that because of the greater opportunity of sharing eternal life with him in his kingdom.
By the way, this does not in any way mean that God is partial; that he loves some and hates others – that he wants some to be saved and others condemned. He loves all equally but his love is greatly upon those who fear him (cf. Ps 103:17).
Do you still fear the Lord or have you joined the wand of those who are so familiar with his mercy and so take him for granted. If we take him for granted, he shall not do much for us, just as it was in the case of his relatives (see Mark 6:1-6).
So do not envy the wicked when they progress (Prov 24), the Lord has you always in his heart. May He grant you the grace to always remain in the hollow of his hands under his watchful and loving gaze so that you may have him for your stronghold (cf. Ps 91). Amen.
Have a lovely and blessed dat with the Lord. Peace be with you.