Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 6th Week in Ordinary Time – Friday – Mark 8:34-9:1
Stunning the Apostles, Christ has privately confirmed that He is the Messiah, but, contrary the Jewish expectation that the Messiah would be a political savior and ruler, He has revealed that He will be rejected, killed and resurrected from the dead after three days.
Calling a multitude together, Christ lays out a stunning vision of Salvation. He proclaims that men who follow Him “must pick up his cross” and whoever “loses his life” for Christ sake will be saved; Christ has not revealed the Crucifixion to even the disciples and now is calling all men to “pick up their cross” and be prepared to die. Christ’s exhortation to be prepared to die to save one’s life is shocking; Jewish law made it clear that men hung on a tree were cursed (Deut 21:23) and Romans used crucifixion to humiliate (and murder).
Knowing that many will reject the Gospel, Christ forces men to choose, promising to condemn those who might be ashamed of Him. Also stunning, Christ reveals He is the “Son of Man” (a Messianic title) and that He will come “in His Father’s glory with the holy angels”; Christ confirms that His ascension to the Father will occur in the near future (the Apostles will be witnesses to Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension).
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of Man and Messiah, Christ confirms His identity to the multitude. Divine King, Christ calls disciples to courageously turn from the world and pick up their cross and follow Him. Divine Prophet, Christ reveals the future and calls men to repentance. Divine Judge, Christ confirms His role in the judgment and that those who reject Him will be condemned.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Contrary to the false feminized Christ so often promoted today, the True Christ is a courageous man, who picks 12 men as His Apostles and specifically calls men to the Cross.
2) The modern western culture is becoming increasingly confused about sexuality and hostile to masculinity. Rather than capitulating to the sick culture, return the heroic manhood of Christ through self-sacrifice. Grow in understanding about “picking up your cross” (CCC 618, 1435, 1642, 1816, 2427, 2012-2016) and pray for Christ to help you bear the weight of your cross heroically.
3) In the chaotic urgency of living in the world, it is easy to forget about the ultimate reality of Heaven and Hell. Reflect on the reality of the “Last 4 Things” (Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell; CCC 1020-1060) and pray for Christ to help you live each day in joyful preparation.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ
Virtue of the Day – Faith
Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries