Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 13th Week in Ordinary Time – Tuesday – Matthew 8:23-27
The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Tuesday of the 13th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 8:23-27.
Having urged would-be followers to have unconditional commitment and to be prepared for hardship (Matt 8:18-22), Christ leads the Apostles on to the Sea of Galilee; it is not simply an excursion but a deliberate act by Christ to test and form the Apostles for their future mission to evangelize the world. Even though many are seasoned fishermen, the Apostles 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, “Lord, save!” (Greek), which is the literal meaning of the Holy Name of Jesus (God saves).
As the storm hits, Christ is sleeping soundly; perhaps He is exhausted from His grueling ministry. Responding to the Apostles’ cries, He awakes and harshly rebukes the disciples for being cowardly (original Greek) and for lacking faith. Christ then turns and loudly rebukes the storm, using the same command He uses when exorcising demons, hinting that it is Satan who is using the storm to attack the Apostles and break their fledgling faith in Christ.
The same calm that Christ demonstrates while sleeping is suddenly manifested in Creation, as a “great calm” occurs. Having demonstrated dominion by proclaiming the New Convenant and healing the unhealable, Christ 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, Christ experiences exhaustion like other men. Son of God, Christ is omniscient, knowing how to calm a storm, and omnipotent, having the absolute power over Creation. Divine King, Christ 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) Most men have been awed by the power of nature (e.g seeing a tornado, experiencing an earthquake, being threatened by a winter storm); some have had a brush with death in nature. Ponder the Almighty King who sleeps during 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. Reflect on Temptation and Deliverance from Evil (CCC 538-540, 566, 2846-2854) and fervently pray for Christ’s protection from Satan’s attacks on you, your family and friends.
3) It is easy to be discouraged by seemingly unsurmountable burdens that arise in life. Reflect on the need for Humble Vigilance of Heart and boldness in Prayer (CCC 2610, 2629-2633, 2729-2733) and pray for Christ to give you a stout and believing heart to meet the challenges in your life.
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