Letter to the Hebrews
Accept the correction of the Lord
1 What a cloud of innume r able witnesses surround us! So let us be rid of every en cum brance, and especially of sin, to persevere in running the race marked out before us.
2 Let us look to Jesus the found er of our faith, who will bring it to completion. For the sake of the joy reserved for him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and then sat at the right of the throne of God. 3 Think of Jesus who suffered so many contradictions from evil peo ple, and you will not be discouraged or grow weary. 4 Have you already shed your blood in the struggle against sin?
5 Do not forget the comforting words that Wisdom addresses to you as children: My son, pay attention when the Lord corrects you and do not be discouraged when he punishes you. 6 For the Lord corrects those he loves and chastises everyone he accepts as a son.
7 What you endure is in order to correct you. God treats you like sons and what son is not corrected by his father? 8 If you were without correction which has been received by all, (as is fit ting for sons), you would not be sons but bastards. 9 Besides, when our parents according to the flesh cor rected us, we respected them. How much more should we be subject to the Father of spirits to have life? 10 Our parents corrected us as they saw fit, with a view to this very short life; but God corrects us for our own good that we may share his holiness.
11 All correction is painful at the moment, rather than pleasant; later it brings the fruit of peace, that is, holiness to those who have been trained by it.
12 Lift up, then, your drooping hands, and strengthen your trembling knees; 13 make level the ways for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but healed.
Strive to be holy
14 Strive for peace with all and strive to be holy, for without holiness no one will see the Lord.
15 See that no one falls from the grace of God, lest a bitter plant spring up and its poison corrupt many among you. 16 Let no one be im moral or irreligious like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 You know that later, when he wished to get the blessing, he was rejected although he pleaded with tears.
18 What you have come to is nothing known to the senses: nor heat of a blazing fire, darkness and gloom and storms, 19 blasts of trumpets or such a voice that the people pleaded that no further word be spoken. 20 All this was intended to have them respect the order not to approach: Every man or beast reaching the mountain shall be stoned. 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said: I tremble with fear.
22 But you came near to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem with its innumerable angels. You have come to the solemn feast, 23 the assembly of the firstborn of God, whose names are written in heaven. There is God, Judge of all, with the spirits of the upright brought to per fec tion. 24 There is Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, with the sprinkled blood that cries out more effectively than Abelís.
25 Be careful not to reject God when he speaks. If those who did not heed the prophetís warnings were not spared on earth, how much more shall we be punished if we do not heed the One warning us from heaven? 26 His voice then shook the earth, but now he says: Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.
27 The words once more indicate the removal of everything that can be shaken, that is, created things, and only those that cannot be shaken will remain. 28 Such is the kingdom that we receive. Let us then be grateful and offer to God a worship pleasing to him with reverence and awe. 29 Our God is indeed a consuming fire.