Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional – 12th Week in Ordinary Time – Tuesday – Matthew 7:6; 12-14
Continuing the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has begun to teach the disciples about how to put His Gospel into practice. Of note: Matthew 7:7-11 is read during Lent.
Christ directs the Disciples to avoid wasting effort to proclaim the Gospel to those with hardened their hearts who refuse to hear (Matt 13:14-15). “What is holy” and “pearls” are the Gospel, which is not to be wasted on those who refuse or are viciously opposed to the Gospel; “dogs” (annoying scavengers at that time) and “pigs” (unclean animals according to Jewish law). Besides wasting time, Jesus warns the disciples to avoid those who desire to viciously attack. Prudence is needed.
After describing the Golden Rule (i.e. do unto others..) as the summary of all the Law and the Prophets, Jesus warns that Heaven, while available to all men, is only received by a few. The Narrow Gate refers to the entry into life in the Kingdom of Heaven and the way to the gate (e.g. growing in holiness) is hard ; few find it. In contrast, the “wide gate” is the entry to Hell (i.e. “destruction”) and the way is easy (i.e. unrepentant sin).
Christ’s warning of the narrow way (holiness) and wide way (sin) is a either/or choice men must make to either pursue the Kingdom of Heaven or end up in Hell. This is the third time He repeated the warning about men’s eternal choice: treasures in Heaven/things that decay (Matt 6:19-21); men cannot serve God and mammon (Matt 6:24). Be warned.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Christ, the Son of God, has supernatural knowledge of Heaven and Hell. The Divine King warns His disciples of the dangers they will face, directing them to prudently and fruitfully evangelize and urges them to strive to seek holiness and Heaven. Divine Judge, Jesus confirms that men are judged and either end up in Heaven or Hell.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) With the Father from the beginning (John 1:1), the Almighty King has an intimate knowledge of the Father, eternity and all of Creation. While it is difficult to grasp His infinite knowledge, reflect on how great Christ is and how small you (and every man) is.
2) Many Catholic men do not worry about sin or holiness, either not caring or falsely believing that almost everyone gets to Heaven. Christ makes it clear that few make it to Heaven and many go Hell. Where are you headed? Resolve to seek God and His Kingdom, drawing your family and many others to Him, as the purpose of your life.
3) As in Jesus’ time, today “dogs” and “pigs” who hate Christ and His Church are numerous; militant atheists, unmanly anonymous internet trolls, religious fundamentalists, etc. Resolve to be prudent and diligent as your proclaim the Gospel to those willing to hear and passing by those who are not.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Guardian Angels
Virtue of the Day – Justice