The Gospel reading from the Mass for Saturday of the 14th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 10:24-33.

After charging the Apostles with the mission to evangelize surrounding towns and warning them of the persecutions that come with proclaiming the Gospel, Christ continues with His Missionary Sermon (Matt 10), reinforcing the reality of persecution and promising that God will remember and protect the Apostles when they imitate Christ and zealously and courageously proclaim the Gospel.

Christ reiterates that like Him, the Apostles will face persecution.  He reminds them that He is the “teacher and master” and they are His disciples and servants.” The Apostles, like every man who wishes to be a disciple, must first humbly lower himself in faith to Christ in order to become like Christ. Because Christ was rejected and demonized, so too will the disciples.

Despite the ordeal of discipleship, Christ promises the disciples the fullness of the Gospel will be revealed and they, mere men, can participate in the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven by publicly and persistently proclaiming the Gospel.  Rather than fear persecution, Christ reveals that the Father, who has dominion over Heaven and Hell, knows everything about them and that He will deliver them in the end. Ominously, Christ warns that men who wish for salvation must publicly (“before men”) acknowledge Him; those who deny Him are doomed for Christ will deny the deniers before the Father in Heaven.

Awed by Jesus ChristDivine Teacher and Lord, Christ reminds the Apostles that His the “master” and they are “servants.” Perfection of Virtue, Christ exhorts the Apostles to be courageous. Son of God, Christ describes His Father based on first hand Divine knowledge, reiterates the reality of Hell and the truth about the Judgment. Divine Judge, Christ warns that He acknowledges men who acknowledge Him and deny men who deny Him.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Christ is a tough and demanding King: He is challenging,expects men to obey, will hold men to account and will reward (Heaven) and punish (Hell) men for their thoughts and deeds.

2) Despite Christ’s clear teaching on the torments of Hell, many Catholic men either wrongly don’t believe in Hell or ignore the reality of Hell as they pursue pleasure in the world. Review the Catechism’s unchanging teaching on Hell (CCC 1033-1037) and pray for Christ to give you a visceral fear of Hell and faith in His ability to save you.

3) Every soul’s eternal destiny is determined by Christ. Reflect on your inevitable Judgment (CCC 677-679, 1020-1022, 1038-1041) and pray for Christ to help you humbly and obediently place your whole life under His command.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtue of the Day – Hope

Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead