26 August 2007 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Hebrews 12, 5-13 Discipline
We have been grounded for disobeying them. Our allowance have been shaved off. Or our behind have been whacked. The Letter to the Hebrews is important for all of us, sons and daughters of God. It tells us not to despise the discipline of the Lord or lose our hearts when reprimanded by Him because He disciplines whom the He loves. The reading illuminates parental discipline.
While uneducated birds and beasts knows how to regulate their lives, human beings endowed with intelligence cannot. Discipline is vital to every living being. Discipline are negative sanctions imposed by parents as part of rearing their children. We were disciplined when we were noisy in church or in a public gathering. We were disciplined if we took something that did not belong to us. We received a whack in our behinds when we lied or when we ate with our mouth full. Discipline then embodies love. It is supposed to prepare the child to become responsible adults in the future.
One thing we hate about discipline is the pain that is involved in it. But discipline is need for growth and development. We learn that certain behaviors are not appropriate for human persons. It is in discipline that we shed off our uncouth behavior. We acquire many values which would prepare us for something else. For those who would take the Licensure Exam for Teachers today, these future teachers underwent the rigors and discipline of studies. For those who will take the bar exams, they knew what they have given up — a time to watch a movie and relax, a time with their families — for their review classes. The Gospel tells us to pass through the narrow door. The narrow gate is Jerusalem’s “People Only” gate. It is fit enough for a single human being to enter. Discipline is passing through the narrow gate. One cannot pass through it unless he unburdens himself of his personal belongings; unless he unburdens himself of his attachments that would not help him achieve his goal.
When parents discipline their children in a normal and loving family, it is done out of love. It is painful, but it molds us into who we are. Just as rules and regulations protect and make us more ‘human’ in our behavior, values and attitudes, so too when God disciplines us. Our trials are suppose to discipline us, to form us into great people.