Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 16th Week in Ordinary time – Monday – Matthew 12:38-42
The Pharisees, who had schemed to “utterly destroy” Jesus because they believed Him to be a fraud, now attack with the help of the scribes (scripture experts). They duplicitously address Jesus as “Teacher” and ask Him for a “sign.” Ironically, blinded by their hatred, they fail to see the most Perfect Sign, Jesus Christ, is standing before them.
As usual, Christ sees through the evil schemes of the men He created. Rather than prove Himself again (Matt 9:33; 12:33), Jesus blasts His enemies, calling them an “evil and adulterous generation” (Greek). To the learned Pharisees and scribes, this is a stunning and violent rebuke; it judges the Pharisees and scribes to be as bad as the faithless Jews who were excluded from the Promised Land by God (Deut 1:35; 32:5; 29:1-3).
Continuing to refer to Scripture, Christ now makes astounding claims about Himself and His enemies. He reveals that He is the Son of Man (the promised Messiah) and that He is greater than the great prophet Jonah; cryptically, Christ reveals that He will be entombed for 3 days/nights in the earth, like Jonah was entombed in the whale. Referring to Israel’s second greatest king, Solomon, Christ claims to be greater. The Pharisees and scribes, deluded in their self-righteousness, were greatly insulted at Christ’s pronoucement that the pagan men of Nivea and the pagan queen of the South, would condemn them.
Awed by Jesus Christ – As the Author of Scripture, the Divine Prophet uses Scripture to teach, rebuke His enemies and to reveal His Divinity. Divine King, Christ is fearless and combative with His enemies even though they are actively attempting to kill Him. Son of Man, Christ demonstrates the power of righteous indignation for those who attack God. Divine Judge, Christ warns of the coming Judgment and that the evil will be condemned.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) The forces of the Evil One are scheming in the media, academia and government to attack Christ and His Church. Reflect on how easily Jesus Christ smashes His enemies and take comfort that despite the growing evil chaos, no one can prevail against Christ and His Kingdom.
2) Like Christ, Catholic men face unbelievers and the doubtful who have incomplete or confused understanding of the faith. To live up to your calling to make disciples, commit to master Catholic apologetics and pray for Christ to send the Holy Spirit to help you offer compelling witness to the doubtful (A Spiritual Work of Mercy).
3) The enemies of Christ seek to stifle the truth by smugly demanding political correctness and stigmatizing legitimate anger; devious and hypocritical, they are often politically incorrect and full of indignant rage. Recall that Christ zealously clears the Temple and harshly rebukes those with evil intent. Pray for Christ to arm you with the prudence and courage to know when to use anger to defend and build His Kingdom.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Souls in Purgatory
Virtue of the Day – Prudence
Corporal Work of Mercy – To give drink to the thirsty
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To instruct the ignorant