Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional – 4th Week in Ordinary Time – Thursday – Mark 6:7-13
After forming the Apostles over a period of months, Christ commissions them to go and make disciples. Having demonstrated His authority by preaching and healing, Christ launches His first phase effort to evangelize all nations by delegating His authority to 12 hand-picked men, sending them out in pairs; the Apostles (meaning “to be sent”) are granted authority and power to cast out demons and cure every disease and and to announce the Kingdom of God among the Israelites.
Christ’s selection and approach of picking 12 men is purposeful. Focusing 12 men to go to Israel symbolically represents Christ’s desire for the 12 tribes of the “lost sheep of Israel” to be the first to be healed and drawn into the Kingdom of God. Christ exclusively chooses men to establish a new priesthood for HIs New Covenant and to underscore the essential role that men must play in the Church.
Christ gives the Apostles the mindset an evangelist must have. They carry with them a “stick”, a symbol of their authority to teach (Exod 4:20). They are to offer Christ’s gifts of healing without cost. They are to be completely reliant on Christ to provide for them in their mission work, taking no money or provisions and being obedient in poverty. Christ gives the Apostles the precise instruction to find a worthy household when they enter a village and stay put; this reduces rivalry among the villagers and makes it easy for everyone to find the apostles. If a village refuses to receive them, the Apostles are to publicly rebuke those who are unwilling; “shaking off the dust from one’s feet” is a symbolic act of judgment and a curse. It is an ominous sign and call to conversion.
Awed by Jesus Christ – The Son of God, Jesus has absolute dominion over Creation and grants both authority and power to His Apostles to perform impossible acts. Divine Priest, Jesus establishes a new priesthood that continues in unbroken continuity 2000 years later; Peter becomes the first of the popes of the Church. Divine King, Jesus systematically develops His disciples by training them and testing them; He gives precise and directive instructions as to the mindset and tactics the Apostles are to use.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Though seldom considered, Jesus Christ is clearly the greatest leader in the history of mankind, for He established His Church that still thrives 2000 years on. Marvel at how Jesus not only commands His Apostles to act, but provides precise instructions about how to evangelize, guidance that continue to bear fruit today in His worldwide Catholic Church.
2) Christ, with Divine Wisdom, purposefully established the Church by delegating authority on earth to the male priesthood. Review the Church’s teaching on the Sacrament of Holy Orders (CCC 1536-1600) and pray for Christ to help you discern your own vocation and to support those who seek Holy Orders.
3) Christ also lays the groundwork for Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick as He sends out the Apostles to anoint the sick with oil. Review the Church’s teaching on the Sacrament of Anointing (CCC 1499-1532) and pray for Christ to help you draw those who need healing to the Sacrament.
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