Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional – 13th Week in Ordinary Time – Wednesday – Matthew 8:28-34
Having demonstrated to the disciples His dominion over Creation (likely including Satan) by calming the sea (Matt 8:23-27), Christ now fearlessly exhibits His complete control over Satan by casting out demons. Landing in the Gentile pagan territory of the Gadarenes where God is not feared and demons roam, Jesus previews His love for all men and His intention to evangelize the whole world.
Walking near the sea, Jesus and the disciples pass near tombs where the locals fear to tread and are confronted with two savage demoniacs, men possessed by Satan’s hordes and living among the rotting flesh and decaying bones of the dead. Rebellious but also afraid, the demons offer several great revelations, calling Jesus “Son of God” and hinting at the coming Judgment (“torment before the time”); ironically they are the first to do so. The disciples, stunned into silence from the Christ’s calming of the sea, wondered about Jesus’ identity and now have their answer; Jesus is God.
Perfectly calm in the face of terror, with a simple word (“Go!), Jesus drives Satan’s demons into a whole herd of unclean pigs that drown in the sea. Alerted by the shocked herdsmen, the whole city, afraid but unwilling to give themselves to God, beg Christ to depart. Christ, allowing men their free will to choose to follow Him or not, leaves.
Awed by Jesus Christ – As the Son of God and Divine King, Jesus Christ reveals the existence of supernatural evil in Spiritual Combat and systematically forms His disciples through a masculine rites of passage in which He demonstrates His dominion over His Creation. The Son of Man, He fearlessly confronts hordes of savage demons who are afraid of Him. The Divine Judge, Jesus shows His power to both judge and punish evil with a simple word.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Christ demonstrates the power of God over all Creation and also shows His Perfect Manhood by His rugged stamina, fearless confrontation of evil and decisive action. Marvel that Christ is the heroic ideal for every man.
2) While many today sarcastically scoff at “the devil” as false belief of superstitious rubes, Satan’s existence is obvious by evil acts reported by the secular media. Reflect on the fact that Christ specifically and repeatedly confronts Satan and vow to be vigilant in the Spiritual Combat.
3) Many Catholic men have not been formed, casually ignoring Christ and foolishly refusing to honor Him. Commit to take concrete steps to be further formed by Christ through prayer, rigorous study of the Gospels and by fraternal mentorship.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries
Daily Devotion – Saint Joseph
Virtue of the Day – Temperance
Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the imprisoned
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To comfort the sorrowful