Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional – 13th Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle C – Luke 9:51-62
Having completed His work in Galilee, Jesus “sets His face” in steely determination and begins the heroic ascent to Jerusalem where He will proclaim Truth, suffer on the Cross and be “taken up” in triumph in the Ascension.
Journeying through Samaria, Jesus directs men to prepare a village for His arrival. Samaritans, the descendants of the intermarriage of Jews and Gentiles, and Jews were long term adversaries, believing in and worshiping God differently. When the Samaritans reject Jesus, James and John, the men Jesus calls the “Sons of Thunder”(Mark 3:17), zealously ask for permission to destroy the Samaritans with fire, perhaps as Elijah had previously done (2 Kings 17:24). Jesus rebukes them for He does not reject Samaritans (or any race); He praises them (The Good Samaritan) and evangelizes them (The Samaritan Woman at the Well).
Christ calls for exclusive and absolute commitment of those who seek Heaven. He warns one enthusiastic man to expect hardship as a disciple (i.e. nowhere to lay one’s head). To another who asks to fulfill the noble duty of burying his father, Christ offers a blunt and highly provocative rebuke (i.e. let the dead bury the dead) to make clear the the urgent and absolute commitment of those who wish to follow Him. To another, Jesus makes clear that those who weakly long for their old life (i.e. look back) are not worthy of the manly vocation (i.e. the plow) of being Christ’s disciple and the Kingdom of Heaven.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Divine Prophet, Jesus perfects the previous prophetic acts of Jeremiah and Ezekiel in going to Jerusalem. Son of Man, Jesus forgoes comfort and courageously perseveres through certain condemnation and persecution, leading to His death. Jesus, Divine King, firmly rebukes overzealous or lukewarm men and demands absolute and exclusive commitment. Divine Teacher, Christ knows that lukewarmness kills men and firmly teaches men the truth about discipleship.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Jesus, the Son of God, has miraculously prepared the world for His Passion by sending the prophets before Him. Be awed by how Christ establishes, directs and enters into Salvation History.
2) Many have blasphemously attempted to feminize Jesus by falsely portraying Him as predominately “meek and mild”, a soft lady with a beard. Consider that James and John, the “Sons of Thunder”, asked Him to smote the Samaritan village, thinking He would do it.
3) Millions of Catholic men have not made the “100% all in” commitment that Christ demands; Christ makes it clear that they are not fit for Heaven. Pray for Christ to give you the faith, today, to give yourself heroically and completely to Christ.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Blessed Trinity
Virtue of the Day – Charity
Corporal Work of Mercy – To feed the hungry
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To admonish the sinner