Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 19th Week in Ordinary time – Sunday – Cycle A – Matthew 14:22-33
The Gospel reading from the Mass for Sunday Cycle A of the 19th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 14:22-33.
After Feeding the 5000, the crowd seeks to make Christ their king (John 6:15) but Christ dismisses them and sends the Apostles in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. Christ then goes into the hills to pray as He originally intended to do when the day started. As with His formation of the Apostles by working through them in Feeding the 5000, Christ continues to form the Apostles through a trial by storm.
A violent storm tosses the boat in an all-night ordeal that leaves the Apostles, some of whom are seasoned fishermen, beaten by the waves, many furlongs from the shore (1F=220 yards) and in great distress. Forgetting Christ’s earlier calming of the storm (Matt 8:23-27), the Apostles scream out in fear when they see Christ, believing Him to be ghost; Christ, in a preview of the Transfiguration, is supernaturally illuminated, visible among the dark violent waves. Christ’s rebuke is mysteriously heard over the howl of the wind: “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.”
Peter momentarily forgets the night-long ordeal and asks to walk across the waves to Christ; Christ beckons him, “Come.” Peter leaps out of the boat, miraculously walking on the boiling waves until he takes his eyes off of Christ and is distracted by the wind; Peter sinks and cries out, begging Christ to save him. Christ rebukes Peter, repeating His previous rebuke during the calming of the storm: “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” Christ grabs hold of Peter with an overpowering strength, physically lifting him up from the depths and helping Peter in the boat. Christ stills the wind and the disciples prostrate themselves in worship, proclaiming His Divinity.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Divine King, Christ purposefully allows the disciples to experience a harrowing trial and harshly rebukes them for their lack of faith. Son of God, Christ has the knowledge and power to be seen in the dark and to miraculously walk, and allow Peter to walk, on violent waves; the Apostles confirm His divinity. Son of Man, Christ exhibits incredible stamina and strength, requiring little/sleep and exhibiting supernatural physical strength.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) For many men, Christ is historical, conceptual and/or feminized. Reflect upon Christ’s awesome power (CCC 449, 635, 649, 664, 668, 1441, 1503) and be awed.
2) Today, reflect upon The Sunday Eucharist (CCC 2177-2179) and pray for Christ to help you to always hunger for Him in the Eucharist and devote this Sunday to Him in gratitude.
3) When Peter lacks the discipline to keep his eyes on Christ after he gets out of the boat, he sinks; men often lose sight of Christ because they aren’t disciplined and sink into sin. Reflect on the importance of the discipline of Mortification (CCC 1430, 1438, 2015, 2549) and pray for Christ to help you to sustain a regular habit of physical (e.g. abstain from a food, fasting, exercise, etc.) and mental (e.g. refrain from media, politics, news, etc.) mortification to grow closer to Him.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Blessed Trinity
Virtue of the Day – Charity
Corporal Work of Mercy – To feed the hungry
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To admonish the sinner