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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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First Martyrs of Rome

Amos 5:14-15, 21-24
Psalm 50:7-13, 16-17
Matthew 8:28-34

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"you hate discipline" (part 2)

"You hate discipline and cast My words behind you." —Psalm 50:17

The swine in today's Gospel loved discipline more than the townspeople. The pigs preferred to be drowned rather than live with evil. The swine had the discipline to "hate evil" (see Am 5:15). The townspeople, on the other hand, couldn't endure the discipline required by Jesus' reconstruction of their society. So they begged Jesus to leave.

We in America don't have the discipline of these pigs! We hated the discipline of praying in school, exercising sexual self-control, marital commitment, and fiscal restraint. So we kicked Jesus out of the public schools and out of the bedroom. We stopped tithing and taking our children to Confession. Now we have armed hall monitors, contraceptives dispensed, and "family planning" services in some public schools. These things filled the huge void left behind when Jesus was commanded to leave (see Mt 8:34). Our national hate of discipline is further reflected in the rampant amount of credit-card debt and home foreclosures. Instant gratification is winning the battle with discipline, for the majority of Americans love pleasure and hate discipline.

As bad as this lack of discipline is, the Lord's biggest charge to us in our disdain for discipline is: you "cast My words behind you" (Ps 50:17). How many of us read God's word daily? How many of us watch hours of TV weekly and read minutes of Scripture? Are our Bibles collecting dust because of our deep-seated, subconscious hatred of discipline? (see Ps 50:17) Repent! Love discipline. Love Jesus. Love and read His word.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I have the discipline of Your disciple.

Promise:  "Let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream." —Am 5:24

Praise:  The First Martyrs of Rome had such great faith in Jesus that they persevered amid torture and death.

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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