Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional – 16th Week in Ordinary time – Thursday – Matthew 13:10-17
After giving the Parable of the Sower to the large crowd, Christ’s disciples ask why He is speaking in parables. In response, Jesus reveals a glimpse of the supernatural mystery of how God calls all men, accepting that many will refuse His gracious invitation. He blesses those who seek Him and allows those who reject Him to suffer the consequences.
The parables of Chapter 13 offer a small partial insight into Christ’s Kingdom of Heaven; the fullness of the Kingdom is beyond Man’s ability to comprehend. The Eternal King reveals “secrets” of the Kingdom of Heaven as a rite of initiation to those who are prepared and willing to accept the Kingdom. The “mystery” of the Kingdom is not a puzzle or problem to be solved, but a supernatural revelation that God offers to intrigue and inspire His men to continually commit to seek Him.
As Christ earlier taught the Apostles to deny His teaching to those who are unreceptive (Matt 7:6), He now has begun teaching with parables which make no sense to the unreceptive. For the disciples, and for all all men of good will who seek Christ and His Kingdom, He promises abundant blessings which include a growing peace and joy on earth and the eternal joy in the life to come. Those whom Christ has blessed to be alive and to be exposed to Him, but who reject Him, will lose everything, including their eternal salvation.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Divine King, Christ purposefully established a hierarchy for the Church by giving authority, the Sacraments and deeper teaching to the Apostles. Divine Judge, Christ selectively gives Himself to the willing and accepts that many reject Him (at their eternal peril). Divine Prophet, Christ reaffirms the insights He inspired Isaiah to write 700 years earlier.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) In Matthew 13, Christ, the Son of God, offers a glimpse into the Kingdom of Heaven. To grow in faith, spend some time reflecting on the truth that God really exists, came to Earth and reveals the supernatural reality of the Kingdom of Heaven.
2) The growing chaos in the world caused by the rejection of God can be discouraging; why don’t all simply come to Christ and live in peace and joy? Take heart, for Christ Himself accepts that large numbers of His children reject Him. Pray for the souls of these who refuse to hear and see Christ and give thanks for His blessings to you.
3) In addition to His straightforward teaching (e.g. The Sermon on the Mount), Christ purposefully constructs several dozen parables. Commit to ponder Christ’s parables, beginning with the 8 parables found in Matthew 13.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist
Virtue of the Day – Fortitude
Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently