Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional – 34th Week in Ordinary time – Sunday – Cycle C – Luke 23:35-43
In this reading for the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year, the Church celebrates the Jesus Christ as the Universal King. In the most evil act possible, the killing of Christ Jesus by the men He created, is in its final stage as Christ slowly dies. Christ has been arrested, beaten, falsely accused, tried in secret under the cover of darkness, scourged, paraded like a criminal, condemned, made to carry and nailed to the Cross. But even in this unspeakable evil, the Kingship of Christ is ironically proclaimed by those who murdered Him and Christ exercises His Kingship.
Those who falsely accused Christ, advocated for His Crucifixion and carried out the act, stand at the foot of the Cross. Evil and inhuman, lacking any compassion for a dying man or the fear of God, the Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers mock the suffering Christ, skeptically challenging Him to save Himself. Ironically, despite being full of evil, they speak truth; they call Christ the King of the Jews by their words and with a sign on the Cross.
Even dying on a cross, a skeptical criminal (the nameless Bad Thief), suffering without faith, hope or repentance, also mocks Christ, ridiculing Him for not saving them all; Christ remains silent. The Good Thief (traditionally known as St. Dimas) rebukes the Bad Thief for their crimes and defends Christ’s innocence. Contrite for his sins, Dimas has faith in Christ, professes He will come into “kingly power” and simply asks for Christ to remember him. Christ, confirming His Kingship, judges and grants Dimas salvation, promising him that he will join Christ in paradise that very day. For the faithful, the blessings of Christ exceed all imagination.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of Man, Christ is crucified, suffers and dies on the Cross at Calvary. Divine King, Christ is ironically recognized as King by His enemies in their insults and confirms His Kingship through the granting of pardon of the Good Thief. Divine Judge, Christ confirms the immediate Judgment and the elevation of Dimas to a Saint.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Many men prefer to “do their own thing”, to be independent, free from any limits or controls, accountable only to themselves, rebelliously rejecting authority. Consider the ominous power of Christ the King of the Universe and what He expects of you.
2) The closest a Catholic man comes to Christ in this life is in His Eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass. Pray that Christ help you meet Him in the Mass with the faith, hope and trust that St. Dimas showed at Calvary.
3) Even men who regularly attend Mass often do not think much about Heaven. Pray for Christ to help you ponder Heaven and long for the everlasting joy of paradise.
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