The Gospel reading from the Mass for Wednesday of the 14th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 10:1-7.

Christ has just told the disciples to pray for the “Lord of the Harvest” to send workers (Matt 9:36) and He immediately sends them, commissioning them in His Missionary Sermon (Matt 10). Having demonstrated His authority over Creation, Christ launches His first phase effort to evangelize all nations by delegating His authority to 12 hand-picked men; the Apostles (meaning “to be sent”) are granted authority and power to cast out demons and cure every disease and illness among the Israelites.

Christ’s selection and approach of picking 12 men is purposeful. Focusing 12 men to go to Israel symbolically represents Christ’s desire for the 12 tribes of  the “lost sheep of Israel” to be the first to be healed and drawn into the Kingdom of God. Christ exclusively chooses men to establish a new priesthood for HIs New Covenant and to underscore the essential role that men must play in the Church.  By mentioning Peter first, Christ signals His intention to establish Peter as the first pope of the Church. Judas is mentioned last for he will go on to betray Christ.

Christ words have connections to Eden. Announcing  “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” seeks to reestablish the divine order that existed at Eden.  Demons, the followers of the Serpent of Eden, are to be cast out. Healing disease and illness among the “slain” (mistranslated as “lost”) alludes to the pain and death that started in Eden due to Original Sin.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has absolute dominion over Creation and grants both authority and power to His disciples. Divine Priest, Christ establishes a new priesthood that continues in unbroken continuity 2000 years later; Peter becomes the first of the popes of the Church. Divine King, Christ systematically develops His disciples by training them and testing them.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Though seldom considered, Jesus Christ is clearly the greatest leader in the history of mankind, for He established His Church that still thrives 2000 years years later. Marvel at how Christ systematically forms and directs His Apostles.

2) Christ explicitly builds His Church on the 12 Apostles. Renew your understanding of the Creed’s proclamation that the Church is Apostolic (CCC 857-870) and pray for Christ to help you draw closer to the Apostles, especially on their Feast Days (found in the Liturgical Calendar).

3) Speaking of patriarchy (the leadership/headship of men in families and society) brings scorn (e.g. “You sexist!”) in the modern culture. Remember that God is the Father, Jesus is the Son, the Holy Spirit is the spouse of the Holy Mother, Christ picks men to lead the Church and Paul designates men as “heads” of their household (1 Cor 11:3). Realize that Divine Fatherhood is the source of human fatherhood (CCC 2214) and pray for Christ and St. Joseph to help you fearlessly accept and live up to your God-given role as the father and leader your family.

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