It is 1st February 2017. The readings are from Heb. 12:4-15; and the Gospel from Mark 6:1-6. The first reading offers the assurance in the discipline of the Lord. Every correction pains. We feel intimidated and humiliated when we are corrected by others who are in the helm of affairs. It is not the case with the Lord towards us. We are privileged to be corrected and disciplined by God. It is indeed the proof and assurance that God loves us so much and wishes to lead us to God through caring confrontations in our lives. Pain is the basis and integral part of progress, growth and development. “My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or to be discouraged when you are reprimanded by God.” (Heb.12:5). Every progress and growth in us bring peace. Peace with one another is ultimatum of our holiness. Spiritual life devoid of peace is not holy. It is grace that makes this peace possible not just by human efforts and skills only. We need to be extremely careful about the ‘root of bitterness’ (Heb.12:15) growing within ourselves and in our communities which will poison the entire community. The poison of division, hatred, tribalism, racism, uncontrollable and unreasonable rage among us are to be nibbled from its very root. When God loves us, God does not compromise the discipline God intents in our lives. We can be bitter about the discipline of the Lord in our lives. But there is no other way God could express God’s concern and love to us other than to go through the pain for the better. The responsorial Psalm prays, “The love of the Lord is everlasting to those who fear God.” (Ps.102:17). The Gospel points out that faith in Jesus is the basic requirement to enjoy the blessings from the Lord. Whenever we have been looking for a miraculous, healing and majestic Saviour, we might not notice the rays of healing comes from the Crucified Jesus. Just because we belong to the Church and the community of believers, we do not the acquaintance with Jesus. It is only by our faith and witnessing, we can accept the guidance of the Lord. May we allow and accept the guidance of the Lord in our lives.

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