Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional – 13th Week in Ordinary Time – Monday – Matthew 8:18-22
Rather than minister to the crowds as He normally does, Jesus instructs the disciples to prepare a boat to go to the other side of the sea. Christ does not neglect the crowd, nor does He need “breathing room”; Christ is deliberately preparing the disciples to push off into the unknown and cut all ties for the sake of the Gospel.
Remarkably, the scribe, who has the pedigree of life-long rigorous scripture study, calls Jesus “Teacher”, a high honor given that Jesus has no worldly scripture pedigree. The scribe, likely having heard Christ’s magnificent Sermon on the Mount, has found the Messiah he has longed for His whole life; he is willing to leave everything to follow Jesus.
Generously, Jesus responds to the scribe with the stupendous revelation that He is the “Son o Man”, a title for the long-awaited messiah. Jesus offers the Scribe only Himself, for having voluntarily exiled Himself from Heaven to save mankind; He lives in abject poverty. Those who wish to follow Christ must “cross over” into the unknown, totally abandoning everything and to only hold fast to Christ.
Christ’s blunt response (i.e. “Let the dead bury the dead. Follow Me”) to the disciple who asks for permission to bury his father makes it clear of the absolute commitment He demands of His followers; symbolically, Christ is calling men from death to life.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Christ affirms that He is the Son of Man, the messiah predicted for over a thousand years. Jesus is recognized as the Divine Teacher by pious scholars of His day and teaches with enduring and memorable words. Divine King, Christ challenges disciples to unconditional commitment and complete trust.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) The scribe (think Ph.D. In Biblical Theology) is so convinced about Jesus Christ that he is willing to leave everything behind. Reflect on the fact that many of the greatest minds of men (e.g. Augustine, Aquinas, Doctors of the Church, etc.) have been absolutely convinced by Christ.
2) Modern men seek security through career, property, money, health insurance, etc.; while prudent, accumulating and holding on to assets can distract from pursuing God and can give a false sense of security. Pray for Christ to give you the courage to put your faith completely in Him.
3) Christ seeks unconditional devotion and routinely asks those He calls to heroic action. Are you taking action for Christ? What is Christ calling you to do to build the Kingdom?
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