Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional – 3rd Week in Ordinary Time – Saturday – Mark 4:35-41
After exhorting the Apostles to prepare to make Christ known in the mysterious building of the Kingdom of God, Jesus puts the disciples to the test to form them in a rite of passage by setting out on the Sea of Galilee.
Despite many being seasoned fishermen, the disciples are terrified of the great storm. The Greek word uses is seismos (meaning “earthquake”), implying a highly unusual violent storm that threatens to swamp the sturdy fishing boat and drown the disciples. Convinced that death is near, they cry out, failing in faith, wondering if Christ has forgotten them.
The only time mentioned in the Gospel, Christ is sleeping soundly; perhaps He is exhausted from His grueling ministry. He awakes and first attends to the most important, harshly rebuking the disciples for being cowardly (original Greek) and for lacking faith. Then Christ turns and loudly rebukes the storm, using the same command He uses when exorcising demons, hinting that Satan is attacking the disciples using the storm. The same calm that Christ demonstrates while sleeping is suddenly manifested in Creation, as a “great calm” occurs. Having demonstrated dominion by healing the unsealable and casting out demons, Jesus continues to reveal Himself by asserting His absolute dominion over His Creation. The disciples are stunned by Christ’s supernatural power and are left wondering about Christ’s identity.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of Man, Jesus experiences exhaustion like other men, falling asleep during a storm. Son of God, Jesus Christ is omniscient, knowing how to calm a storm, and omnipotent, having the absolute power over Creation. Divine King, Jesus heroically defends His disciples against the attacks of Satan in the Spiritual Combat and also uses harsh trials to form His disciples.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Christ, in a sign of the coming of the Kingdom of God (CCC 547-550), sleeps on the boat on the Sea of Galilee during a raging storm that drives seasoned fishermen to weep and stops a hurricane with a word.
2) Men, whether they realize it or not, are engaged in the Spiritual Combat, in which Satan attacks and Christ saves; there is no opting out, no sitting on the sidelines (CCC 407-409). Relflect on how Satan is continually tempting you, often focusing on your current weakness (e.g to fall to lust in pornography). Like the disciples, beg Christ to help them, know that He will give you faith and peace.
3) Like the battered boat, the Church often appears to be floundering as Christ sleeps. Some rebellious clergy create confusion and scandal within the Church and secular forces and false religions attack from outside. Reflect on the truth that Satan can not prevail against Christ’s Church and pray for the faith and courage to serve the Almighty King as He calls you.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary
Virtue of the Day – Hope
Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead