A Reading for the 4th of July

I have some ideas for a post that ties in with July 4, but alas, work is taking priority over blogging.  However, the Lord provides.  As I mentioned a few months ago, I had gotten terribly far behind with my daily gospel readings, and was reading Advent in Lent.  Well, I got pretty far caught up, but then Holy Week hit and I fell off my stride and I am really behind again.

But today, I opened the oldest readings and they were from February 4, and the first reading, from the Letter to the Hebrews, seems oddly fitting for our nation as we celebrate the Fourth of July.  A blessed holiday weekend to everyone!

Brothers and sisters: In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.  You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons: “My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him;  for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.”  Endure your trials as “discipline”; God treats you as sons. For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline? At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it. So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.  Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God, that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble, through which many may become defiled,

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  • Ronald King

    David, That is perfect. Thank you!

  • David Cruz-Uribe, SFO

    Two additional thoughts, hastily formed but they were in the back of my mind as I made this post yesterday. First, July 4 marked the end of the American bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom” a now annual event that seems to find very little traction outside the USCCB. (I am not saying no traction, just very little if local parishes are a reasonable sample.) The contrast between our “persecution” in the US and the martyrdom suffered by Christians elsewhere in the world gives pointed meaning to the snarky expression “first world problems”.

    Second, I have been struggling to respond to the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage and failing. I keep wanting to do a blog post, but nothing comes. But I think this is a moment of discipline for us, as the People of God. Not in the narrow, evangelical “punishment from the Lord for the sins of the nation” but rather a rebuke from the world (which is God’s in the end) to call us to greater fidelity to our own identity.