Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional – Tenth Week in Ordinary Time – Wednesday – Matthew 5:17-19
Jesus Christ continues with His Sermon on the Mount, a summary of the New Covenant. Having explained how men can find lasting happiness in the Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-12) and calling the disciples to be enthusiastic evangelists (Matt 5:13-16), Jesus now describes how the New Covenant is built off the foundation of the Old Covenant.
Remarkably, Christ starts by revealing that He is the fulfillment (i.e. to make complete) of the Law and the Prophets, which is 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.
Christ reveals that He has an intimate knowledge of the Kingdom of Heaven, knowing the hierarchy that exists (i.e. greater and lesser), the criteria by which men are judged (i.e. righteousness) and even those who will not be accepted into Heaven (i.e. The Pharisees and those who are less righteous).
Jesus calls all men to honor the Commandments and places great responsibility on those who teach to teach the fullness of the Commandments or face the consequences.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Christ, the Almighty King, speaks with the authority of the Son of God, and as Divine Prophet, reinforces the Law and Prophets of the Old Covenant that has been previously given’ amazingly, Jesus reveals that He has come to fulfill them. Christ, the Divine Judge, with first hand knowledge of Heaven and the Power and Wisdom to judge men’s souls, confirms some are excluded from Heaven.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) As a Person of the Trinity, Christ not only establishes the 10 Commandments but explicitly confirms their unbending Truth and makes it clear that many won’t make it to Heaven. Reflect on your own sinfulness in “what you have done and what you have left undone”, repent and go to Confession.
2) With the support of the modern culture, governments are enacting laws that directly contradict the 10 Commandments. Even within the highest levels of the Church, some scandalously advocate to “relax” (i.e. reject) the condemnation of adultery. Pray that Christ will intervene to protect His flock.
3) Despite being blessed to have been baptized into the Catholic Church, many men do not understand the “rule book” of the Laws and the Prophets; it is impossible to win a game (e.g. be accepted into Heaven) if you are ignorant of the rules. As fathers (both biological and spiritual), men have a special responsibility to teach their children and others to understand and obey the Commandments. Vow to learn and live out the 10 Commandments each day.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries
Daily Devotion – Saint Joseph
Virtue of the Day – Temperance