First Reading for the Wednesday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 1

Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15

Summary: In your struggles against sin, view hardships as divine discipline, a sign of God's love and treatment as His children. Though challenging, this discipline leads to righteousness and healing.

Embrace God's Discipline

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 children:

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 his 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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