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Monday, June 28, 2010

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St. Irenaeus

Amos 2:6-10, 13-16
Psalm 50:16-23
Matthew 8:18-22

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"you hate discipline" (part 1)

"You hate discipline." —Psalm 50:17

The secular culture rebels against discipline. It says: "Do what makes you feel good…You deserve a break today…Have it your way." By contrast, a follower of Jesus Christ is called a disciple, a word which has the same root as the word "discipline."

In today's Gospel, Jesus challenges a "disciple" (Mt 8:21) to avoid the temptation of joining the "living dead" (see 1 Jn 3:14). Some scholars say that this man's father was not yet dead, and the son was waiting to claim his inheritance and then follow Jesus. Whatever this disciple's circumstances, Jesus realized that the man was self-deceived about his own commitment as a disciple.

Our human hearts are twisted (Jer 17:9). We often rationalize our lack of discipline by excuses and circumstances. We avoid the labor and pain required by discipline. Disciples of Christ, don't fall into the trap of attempting to justify your lack of discipline to God, for "the Holy Spirit of discipline flees deceit" (Wis 1:5).

St. Paul testifies: "What I do is discipline my own body and master it, for fear that after having preached to others I myself should be rejected" (1 Cor 9:27). Growing in discipline means suffering pain in the present. Not being disciplined leads to even more pain in the future, for yourself and for others.

Will you choose the pain of discipline or the pain of regret? "Do not disdain the discipline of the Lord" (Heb 12:5). Repent of any failure to embrace the discipline Jesus requires of a disciple.

Prayer:  Jesus, help me to remember that Your discipline is a sign of Your great love for me (Heb 12:5-11). May I show my trust in You by loving Your discipline rather than hating it.

Promise:  "To Him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God." —Ps 50:23

Praise:  St. Irenaeus fought deceit by writing about truth and fighting the heresy of his day, Gnosticism.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2009

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