Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 6th Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle A – Matt 5:17-37
God called Moses to ascend a mountain to receive the 10 Commandments; now Christ ascends a mountain to give the Sermon of the Mount, a summary of the New Covenant in which the standards of holiness are raised even higher. Having described the demands and blessings of holiness in the Beatitudes and the need for men to spread the Gospel, Christ reaffirms the 10 Commandments and calls for men to seek an even more rigorous internal conversion of the heart.
Remarkably, Christ starts by revealing He is the fulfillment (i.e. to make complete) of the Law and the Prophets, a shorthand reference for the entire Old Testament. He clearly and adamantly confirms the details of the Law, saying not the “smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter” will be ignored; the perfection that Christ is calling men to is an impossibly high standard. As Christ will reveal, only the Divine Mercy of God will allow men to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
While the Old Covenant laid out commandments which outlawed outer sinful behaviors, Christ commands His followers to the higher standard of eradicating the sinful inner thoughts. Rather than just refraining from physically killing others, Christ commands men to refrain from anger in their hearts and to reconcile with others. Rather than refraining from adultery, Christ commands men to not even entertain lust in their hearts. Rather than using corruptions of the Law to divorce and remarry, Christ commands men to refrain from divorce and remarriage or they shall be guilty of adultery. Rather than limiting truth to when a man is under oath, Christ commands men to simply tell the truth all the time.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ reconfirms the 10 Commandments and speaks with the authority to modify Mosaic Law. Divine Prophet, reinforces the Law and Prophets of the Old Covenant and amazingly, Jesus reveals that He has come to fulfill them. Divine King, Christ calls His disciples to a new perfection of inner holiness. Divine Judge, Christ has first hand knowledge of Heaven, the Power and Wisdom to judge men’s souls and confirms some are excluded from Heaven.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1)1) Christ astounds as He asserts the authority to significantly amend Mose’s 1200 year-old law received directly from God. Christ does not claim that He was given authority by God (like Moses) but implicitly asserts His own authority; Christ is speaking and acting like God. Be awed.
2) Modern culture, governments and even some within the Church oppose Christ’s clear teaching and the 10 Commandments. Renew your understanding of and commitment to the 10 Commandments (CCC 2052-2082) and pray for Christ to help you live out His laws.
3) After adamantly condemning lustful thoughts, Christ uses extreme hyperbole (e.g. not literal) to warn men to turn from lust and the fires of Hell; gouging out one’s eye (from gazing at pornography) and cutting off one’s right hand (masturbation). Review the Church’s teaching on “The Vocation to Chastity” (CCC 2337-2359) and pray for Christ to help you repent from lust and to grow in chastity; Examine your conscience and go to Confession.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Blessed Trinity
Virtue of the Day – Charity