Having miraculously healed two blind men, Jesus continues healing many people as He prepares to expand His evangelization efforts. A man made mute by a demon is brought to Jesus by his neighbors in a communal act of faith and Jesus effortlessly casts out the demon. The crowds, who had witnessed the mute demoniac’s daily torment, marvel (has the same root word in Greek as “miracle”) when the healed man speaks. The Pharisees skeptically accuse Jesus of being a follower of Satan.

Jesus keeps a grueling schedule, going to “all the cities and villages, preaching continually and healing “every disease and infirmity.” Christ is full of compassion (meaning to “be with another’s suffering”), demonstrating His unity with all the children of His Creation and previewing His willingness to suffer for men in His own Passion.

Christ’s revelation in the Old Testament of man’s need for a Shepherd (Joshua/Num 27:17; David/ 2 Sam 5:2-3; Ezek 34) fulfills multiple prophecies that foretell of Christ the Good Shepherd (John 10:16). Christ also confirms that men suffer, men need to be saved from suffering, men will be judged (i.e the “harvest”) and men need firm guidance in the Spiritual Combat of life. He challenges the disciples to prepare themselves to evangelize by asking them to pray for God’s (The Lord of the Harvest) help.

Note: If you are reading through the Gospel of Matthew with this devotional series, Matthew 9:27-31 was skipped because it is read on the first Friday of Advent.

Awed by Jesus Christ – Jesus, the Son of God, has complete dominion over Satan and his demons and casts them out at will. Divine Prophet, Jesus has planted references about Himself across Salvation History (e.g. “shepherd”) and mysteriously fulfills those prophecies. Divine Physician, Jesus is able to diagnose and heal lifelong illnesses (e.g. being mute). Son of Man, Christ understands all the sufferings of men, has deep compassion for men and will ultimately suffer the Passion for all men out of His infinite love. Divine King, Jesus systematically plans, builds and leads Salvation History.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Jesus cures almost casually, healing thousands of people of many illnesses, spontaneously, quickly and completely. To grow in awe of the Almighty King, imagine that Jesus comes to your town and heals “every disease and infirmity.”

2) The modern culture lures men to be independent and self-made, to rebel against authority and to develop one’s own moral code (or have no moral code). Reflect on Christ’s call to  Catholic manhood, which recognizes men’s absolute need for a Savior and that men are to actively work through Christ to build His Kingdom.  Ask Christ to make you into the man He is calling you to be.

3) Today, Catholic men who profess the faith are falsely slandered by the modern equivalent of being called a demon: being a “hater”, a “phobic”, “fundamentalist”, “religious nut”. Remember that Christ was accused of being in league with Satan for acts of charity; pray for the courage to imitate Christ.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Guardian Angels

Virtue of the Day – Justice

Corporal Work of Mercy – To clothe the naked

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To counsel the doubtful