Catholic Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 22nd Week in Ordinary time – Monday – Luke 4:16-30
After His Baptism and Temptation in the Judaean desert, Christ begins His public ministry by working His way west, preaching in synagogues and healing the sick; His reputation begins to grow. Christ returns to His hometown of Nazareth and goes to the synagogue on the Sabbath, as was His custom. With His people Israel and fellow villagers, many of whom He was related to through Mary, Christ will announce that He is the Messiah.
Standing to read Scripture, Christ selects and reads Isaiah’s 700 year-old prophecy of the Messiah who will bring miraculous healing and freedom to those in bondage. Stunned, the crowd watches as Jesus says “this Scripture has been fulfilled”, a declaration that He is the long-awaited Messiah. His people first react well, but skepticism grows as they realize Jesus is Joseph’s son; mysteriously, despite having the Son of God, the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph in their midsts for years, the people have failed to recognize Divinity and holiness.
Knowing that His own people will reject Him, Christ rebukes them for their inability to recognize a prophet in their midst. Their anger grows, for by calling Himself a prophet, He has compared Himself to the revered Isaiah. Rebuking them again, Christ reveals that Israel (them!), as in the time of Elijah and Elisha, will not be receive miraculous blessings. The people’s anger explodes into murderous intent, for Christ has rebuked them, compared Himself to two additional heroic prophets and proclaims the hated Gentiles will receive blessings and Israel will not. Christ allows the mob to take Him up on a brow of a hill to throw Him off; in this preview of the violence and murder of Passion Week, Christ’s prophecy of Israel’s rejection and loss of blessing is fulfilled. As always, Christ is in complete control and mysteriously walks through the vicious mob and leaves.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ speaks with power and authority, announcing His coming as the long-awaited Messiah. He possesses both supernatural and physical power that allows Him to pass through the angry, bloodthirsty crowd. Divine Prophet, Christ has an intimate knowledge of Scripture He inspired His prophets to write and teaches with authority. He rebukes the people of Nazareth for their unbelief.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) As men turn from God and chaos grows in the world, images of frenzied “protest” mobs and violence is routinely broadcast. Marvel at Christ’s mysterious power to “pass through the midst” of a violent mob that is seeking to kill Him.
2) Only a small minority of Catholic men have a habit of prayerfully reading Scripture. Christ, raised by Joseph and Mary to read and memorize Scripture in the synagogue, desires that all Catholic men read and become intimately familiar with Him in Scripture. Pray for Christ to help you imitate His example and heed His call to know the Word made flesh in Scripture.
3) Men, full of testosterone, are prone to verbal and physical violence if they lack a deep inner life centered on Christ. Commit to a habit of daily prayer, asking Christ to take a “chair” in your heart, to help you constantly seek to do His Will and help you to turn from anger and build the virtue of meekness.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Souls in Purgatory
Virtue of the Day – Prudence
Corporal Work of Mercy – To give drink to the thirsty
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To instruct the ignorant