Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 15th Week in Ordinary time – Tuesday – Matthew 11:20-24
In Matthew chapters 12 and 13, Jesus confronts the “Evil Generation.” Despite Jesus’ numerous miracles around Galilee, many people and towns failed to repent and grow in faith. Jesus condemns them.
Christ begins by rebuking Chorazin and Bethsaida, two towns within a few hours walk where Jesus has performed “mighty deeds” (both Divine preaching and healing miracles). Because these towns remain unrepentant, Jesus expresses both anger and sorrow (“Woe”!) at their lukewarmness. Chorazin and Bethsaida were predominately Jewish towns that rejected the Messiah and bore great guilt; because of this they will fare worse in the Judgment than the Gentile towns of Tyre and Sidon which God had previously promised to bring down judgment (Isa 23:1-17; Jer 25:22).
Christ has an even stronger rebuke for Capernaum where He based His Galilean mission and spent much time performing mighty deeds. Capernaum will not be exalted in Heaven but will be cast into Hell. Worse, even Sodom, that was destroyed due to rampant homosexual sin by God with fire and brimstone, has a better fate than Capernaum.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Person of the Trinity, Christ reveals the future state of whole groups of people who reject Him and the existence of Hell. Divine King, calls men, expects them to repent and seek holiness and offers harsh rebukes to those who ignore Him. Divine Judge, Christ refers to His Judgment and the truth that many will be cast into Hell.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Wanting to avoid the discomfort of proclaiming the truth, many cherry pick scripture to promote a false politically-correct Jesus who ignores sin, makes no demands and forgives the unrepentant. To purge that blasphemy from your mind, re-read today’s Gospel, imaging that you are hearing Christ deliver this harsh condemnation. Holy Fear is appropriate.
2) Christ strongly rebukes Capernaum for the people did not repent, despite Christ’s dwelling with them and performing many miracles. Like Capernaum, many Catholic men are lukewarm (or cold), failing to understand or practice even basic Precepts (CCC 2041-43), despite Christ’s perpetual dwelling with us in the Eucharist. Resolve to give Christ your absolute best, praying for the Holy Spirit to help you to be a heroic Catholic man.
3) Since Sin and Hell are seldom talked about, many Catholic men don’t believe they exist and that almost everyone gets to Heaven. Take some time to imagine Hell, realizing that it is infinitely worst than any horror than this world endures. Repent, fast and pray, clinging to feet of Our King, begging Him for salvation.
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