WHEN THE LORD CORRECTS YOU, DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED
(Homily for Wednesday 6 February, 2019
Saints Paul Miki and his companions, Martyrs)
We are living in a society where the struggle to do good and avoid sin is greatly influenced by those who no longer see sin as something evil but as a way of life. A society where sin is now seen as one of those mistakes that no longer disturbs the conscience. A world where those who are struggling to live by their Christian vocation are seen as those who are wasting their time with an ancient way of life, those who do not really know what it means to enjoy life in the 21st century and computer age.
We are indeed living in a society where the practice of virtues and other moral values has been sacrificed at the altar of immorality and impunity. A society where so many elders, parents, guardians, and teachers have lost their primary role of being custodians, educators and propagators of moral and ethical values. A world where so many children and youths are swimming in the ocean of confusion because those who are expected to teach them have missed the mark and have lost the moral rectitude to correct them.
It is indeed sad and very unfortunate.
It is as a result of this very society in which we live that St. Paul in his letter to the Romans warns us not to model our lives according to the contemporary world. He says “so then, my brothers and sisters, because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect (Rom 12:1-2).
The first reading today addresses and encourages us on the need to keep struggling because it is part and parcel of our Christian lives. One of the reasons why our society has degenerated to the condition it is today is this loss of interest and energy to fight against sin even among Christians who are supposed to be the custodians of moral and Christian values.
The opening sentence of the first reading goes thus “in the fight against sin, you have not yet had to keep fighting to the point of death. Even though the way of the Lord is always a hard way, a way of continuous struggles, and a way of suffering, but mind you, it is also a way that leads to victory, a way that leads to peace and crown. Though always painful when the Lord corrects but his correction leads to life and embracing the promises.
Saints Paul Miki and companions we are celebrating today were the first groups to suffer mass martyrdom in Japan. Paul and his companions were bound to crosses on a hill, like Christ, and pierced with lances. It was not easy for them because they went through the hard way, brutally executed but today they are being celebrated in a grand style because of the legacy they left behind.
Let us therefore remember that the love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold Him in fear! As reflected yesterday, let us keep fighting until we get to the end.
Let Us Pray: Heavenly Father, help me to accept your discipline in my life and to work hard everyday to do what will please you. Amen.