Readings for Wednesday, 4th Week in OT, Year I
On this day the Church commemorates Japanese martyrs Paul Miki and his companions. These people certainly did "resist to the point of shedding blood" (Heb 12:4, a carryover from yesterday's first reading). Despite all the resistance that Catholics and Catholic teaching are receiving from the government, we still enjoy, for now, a comfortable Catholic life. The inspired author of Hebrews envisions a day when discipline will come in handy, when holiness will be welcomed and craved even as so many are turning aside from the Way.
This day hasn't arrived for everyone, and may never arrive for many, because they fear to live so boldly that their own neighborhoods and family members might raise their eyebrows. Perhaps there is some practice that can disturb sensibilities: grace before meals in public? If blood-red embarrassment emblushes the cheek at such a thought ("Grace? Is that all we're capable of? What martyrs we'd be!")--
--Yes! And no less worthy of the honors of the altar-sainthood! for "God treats you as His sons"- that is to say, as persons capable of, indeed worthy of, discipline. Faithfully undertaken, The practice of publicly honoring the Creator is a discipline that will turn heads and turn lives.