Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional – 4th Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle A – Matt 5:1-12
As a Person of the Trinity, Jesus called Moses to ascend a mountain to receive the 10 Commandments. In Matthew 5-7, Jesus, Himself, ascends a mountain in Galilee to deliver the Sermon on the Mount, a summary of the New Covenant, a perfection of the Old Covenant.
Taking the sitting position of a rabbi, Jesus calls His disciples and begins to teach. He begins with eight Beatitudes (“happinesses”) which describe how men can grow in happiness in this life and will receive perfect happiness as adopted “sons of God” (v. 9) in the perfect union of the Beatific Vision of God (v. 8) in the life to come in the Kingdom of Heaven (v. 3, 10, 12). Those allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven are comforted (v. 3), receive the satisfaction of justice (v. 6) and are granted the mercy of forgiveness (v. 7).
To receive these great joys, Christ describes the mindset and actions of the blessed. Men must be “poor in spirit” (v. 3), relying completely for Almighty God’s mercy. Men must “mourn” (v. 4) the scourge of sin and also suffer trials in life. Men must be “meek” (v. 5), enduring injustice with humble patience and offering gentleness and kindness to others. Men must “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (v. 6), making the pursuit of personal holiness their unrelenting goal. Men must be “merciful”(v. 7), forgiving and sacrificing to serve others. Men must be “clean of heart” (v. 8), resisting lustful and other evil thoughts. Men must be “peacemakers” (v. 9), living peacefully and spreading the peace of Christ. Men must accept being “persecuted for the sake of righteousness” (v. 10), fearlessly imitating Christ’s own persecution for the Gospel. Christ warns that being a heroic Catholic man will necessarily result in being reviled, persecuted and slandered; Satan and evil people hate Christ and His Church. He promises men who persevere a share in eternal glory and happiness in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God and Divine Teacher, Christ becomes man in the fullness of time to personally deliver the New Covenant. Divine King, Jesus reveals the Kingdom of Heaven and prepares men for the Spiritual Combat. Divine Prophet, Christ offers men the definitive keys to happiness in the Beatitudes.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) In the Beatitudes, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God (CCC 441-445), authoritatively announces the Kingdom of Heaven. Eternal with the Father from the beginning, reflect on the awesome fact that Jesus speaks from personal knowledge in His description of Heaven.
2) The brief treatment above offers only a small insight into the life-transforming richness of the Beatitudes. Commit to mediate upon (CCC 1716-1729), memorize and to live out the Beatitudes in your daily life.
3) The Beatitudes should cause holy fear; the bar for entering the Kingdom of Heaven is impossibly high and heroic Catholic men can expect severe and unrelenting temptation and persecution (CCC 675-677). Commit to the heroic quest to be a saint in the Communion of Saints (CCC 946-962), relying on Christ’s Divine Mercy to help and save you through His Passion.
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