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Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs

Scriptural Readings: Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15; Psalm 103:1-2, 13-14, 17-18; Mark 6:1-6

My dear encountered couples:

Parents who truly love their children are very careful not to spoil them. They keep from giving them too many things, restrain themselves from making life too easy for them. They let their children make mistakes, they stand back and let their children experience some hard knocks in life. And this is so their children will learn to stand on their own two feet, be able to face hard times when they come, be able to make a living for themselves as mature individuals. Maybe grandparents are permitted to do some spoiling, but parents are to teach and strengthen their children with love that might often appear tough. Not an easy job, but somebody’s got to do it. And who better than parents? It is the same with God the Father and his children.

God could give us heaven on earth with a flick of his finger. Did he maybe try that once and find out it wasn’t such a good idea? Like in the Garden of Eden? Maybe it was too soft there for Adam and Eve. When hard times came, when temptation snuck up on them they seemed to have been unprepared to handle it. Being thrown out into the world to make a home for themselves, to sweat and strain, to think and solve their own problems was quite possibly the best thing God could have done for them. According to today’s letter to the Hebrews that could very well be at least part of the answer f or our suffering and difficulties.

“My sons, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord nor lose heart when he reproves you; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son (and daughter) he receives... At the time it is administered, all discipline seems a cause for grief and not for joy, but later it brings forth the fruit of peace and justice to those who are trained in its school.” Proof of God’s love can be found in the toughness in our lives. He is just being a father doing his job of helping his children grow.


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