Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 14th Week in Ordinary time – Friday – Matthew 10:16-23
Jesus continues His Missionary Sermon to the Apostles (Matt 10), warning them of the persecution that comes with preaching the Gospel and instructing them how to respond to persecution.
Christ tells the Apostles to understand and accept the sober reality that martyrdom and sacrifice come to those who proclaim the Gospel. He makes it clear that the Apostles will be viciously hated (sheep among wolves) and accurately describes the types of persecution, including persecution using secular (legal) and religious (synagogues) structures, persecution by Gentiles and Jews and even betrayal by one’s own family.
Great King, Christ steels the Apostles with promises of how He will make them victorious in battle. Rather than meekly submit to all persecution, Apostles are to defend themselves by using their wits (shrewd as serpents) while maintaining pure and holy intentions (simple as doves). The Apostles are to rely on the Holy Spirit to actively speak when they are on trial. He instructs them to make tactical retreats, avoiding attacks by moving to new territory to evangelize. Christ warns the Apostles to “endure to the end” through persecutions and promises salvation to those who do.
Awed by Jesus Christ – The Divine Prophet, Jesus accurately foresees the persecution of the Apostles. Divine King, He calls the Apostles to heroic self-sacrifice and, with omniscience, gives precise instructions as to the tactics they are to use. Person of the Trinity, Christ promises the Holy Spirit will be given to the Apostles to guide their words.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Divine Prophet, Jesus Christ accurately predicts the persecution the Apostles will face for preaching the Gospel (see Book of Acts); every Apostle is martyred except John (who is persecuted and exiled). Reflect on Christ’s ability to accurately describe future events that not only occurred in the 1st Century but are occurring today.
2) Today’s post-Christian society in the West continues to relentlessly attack Catholics through unjust laws which violate conscience and by pervasive prejudice against men of faith. Elsewhere, radical Islam is systematically slaughtering or expelling Catholics from ancient Catholic lands. Pray for Christ’s intervention to protect and expand His Kingdom in the face of these evils.
3) Many Catholic men attempt to practice the faith in private, keeping their Catholicism to themselves. Failing to actively proclaim and bring souls to Christ is a sin of omission that is unworthy of a Catholic man. Pray for Christ to convert your heart, fill you with the courage to proclaim the Kingdom of Christ and to “endure to the end” and be saved (CCC 1816).
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ
Virtue of the Day – Faith
Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries