Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 12th Week in Ordinary Time – Tuesday – Matthew 7:6; 12-14
The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Tuesday of the 12th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 7:6; 12-14.
Continuing the Sermon on the Mount, Christ has begun to teach the disciples about how to put His Gospel into practice. Of note: Matthew 7:7-11 is read during Lent. Christ directs men to avoid wasting effort to proclaim the Gospel to those with hardened their hearts who refuse to hear (Matt 13:14-15). “What is holy” and “pearls” are the Gospel, which is not to be wasted on those who refuse or are viciously opposed to the Gospel. Christ condemns such ungrateful men using the derogatory terms that 1st Century Jews would understand: “dogs” (annoying scavengers at that time) and “pigs” (unclean animals according to Jewish law). Besides wasting time, Christ warns the disciples to avoid those who desire to viciously attack. Prudence is needed.
After describing the Golden Rule (i.e. do unto others..) as the summary of all the Law and the Prophets, Christ warns that Heaven, while available to all men, is only received by a few. The Narrow Gate refers to the entry into life in the Kingdom of Heaven and the way to the gate (e.g. growing in holiness) is hard ; few find it. In contrast, the “wide gate” is the entry to Hell (i.e. “destruction”) and the way is easy (i.e. unrepentant sin).
Christ’s warning of the narrow way (holiness) and wide way (sin) is a either/or choice men must make to either pursue the Kingdom of Heaven or end up in Hell. This is the third time He repeated the warning about men’s eternal choice: treasures in Heaven/things that decay (Matt 6:19-21); men cannot serve God and mammon (Matt 6:24). Be warned.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Christ, the Son of God, has supernatural knowledge of Heaven and Hell. Divine King, Christ warns His disciples of the dangers they will face, directing them to prudently and fruitfully evangelize and urges them to strive to seek holiness and Heaven. Divine Judge, Christ confirms that men are judged and either end up in Heaven or Hell.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) With the Father from the beginning (John 1:1), the Almighty King has an intimate knowledge of the Father, eternity and all of Creation. While it is difficult to grasp His infinite knowledge, reflect on how great Christ is and how small you (and every man) is.
2) Many men do not worry about sin or holiness, either not caring or believing the lie that everybody gets to Heaven. Christ makes it clear that few enter through the Narrow Gate (to Heaven) and most go through the Wide Gate to destruction (Hell). Reflect on the Two Ways and Hell (CCC 1696, 1033-1037) and pray for Christ to help you repent, seek holiness and enter unto Heaven.
3) As in Christ’s time, today “dogs” and “pigs” who hate Christ and love evil are numerous; militant atheists, vicious internet trolls, Satanists, etc. Reflect on Christ’s prudent advice to avoid futile efforts to convert the unconvertible and pray for Christ to guide you to those He wishes for you to evangelize.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Guardian Angels
Virtue of the Day – Justice
Corporal Work of Mercy – To clothe the naked
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To counsel the doubtful