Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 10th Week in Ordinary Time – Wednesday – Matthew 5:17-19
Christ continues with His Sermon on the Mount, a summary of the New Covenant. Having explained how men can find lasting happiness in the Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-12) and calling the disciples to be enthusiastic evangelists (Matt 5:13-16), Christ now describes how the New Covenant is built off the foundation of the Old Covenant.
Remarkably, Christ starts by revealing that He is the fulfillment (i.e. to make complete) of the Law and the Prophets, which is a shorthand reference for the entire Old Testament. He clearly and adamantly confirms the details of the Law, revealing that not the “smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter” will be ignored; the perfection that Christ is calling men to is an impossibly high standard. As Christ will reveal, only the Divine Mercy of God gives men the grace to allow them to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Christ reveals that He has an intimate knowledge of the Kingdom of Heaven, knowing the hierarchy that exists (i.e. greater and lesser), the criteria by which men are judged (i.e. righteousness) and even those who will not be accepted into Heaven (i.e. the Pharisees and those who are less righteous). Christ calls all men to honor the Commandments and places great responsibility on those who teach to teach the fullness of the Commandments or face the consequences.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ speaks with Divine Authority. Person of the Trinity and Divine King, Christ has perfect knowledge of the Kingdom of Heaven. Divine Prophet, Christ confirms the Law and Prophets of the Old Covenant and, amazingly, Christ reveals that He has come to fulfill them. Divine Judge, Christ, who has first hand knowledge of Heaven and the Power and Wisdom to judge men’s souls, confirms some are excluded from Heaven.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Be awed that Christ not only establishes the 10 Commandments, but, in the Incarnation, confirms the the unbending truth of the 10 Commandments and perfectly keeps them (CCC 577-582).
2) Review the Church’s teaching on the The Moral Law (CCC 1949-1986) and pray for Christ to help you to grow in holiness.
3) Despite being blessed to have been baptized into the Catholic Church, many men do not understand the “rule book” of the Laws and the Prophets; it is impossible to win a game (e.g. be accepted into Heaven) if you are ignorant of the rules. As fathers (both biological and spiritual), men have a special responsibility to teach their children and others to understand and obey the 10 Commandments (CCC 2052-2557). Vow to learn and live out the 10 Commandments each day.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries
Daily Devotion – Saint Joseph
Virtue of the Day – Temperance
Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the imprisoned
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To comfort the sorrowful