Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 18th Week in Ordinary time – Tuesday – Matthew 14:22-36
After Feeding the 5000, the crowd seeks to make Christ their king (John 6:15) but Christ dismisses them and sends the Apostles in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. Christ then goes into the hills to pray as He originally intended to do when the day started. As with His formation of the Apostles by working through them in Feeding the 5000, Christ continues to form the Apostles through a trial by storm.
A violent storm tosses the boat in an all-night ordeal that leaves the Apostles, some of whom are seasoned fishermen, in great distress (literally “tortured”). Forgetting Christ’s earlier calming of the storm (Matt 8:23-27), the Apostles scream out in fear when they see Christ, believing Him to be ghost; Christ, in a preview of the Transfiguration, is supernaturally illuminated, visible among the dark violent waves. Christ’s rebuke is mysteriously heard over the howl of the wind: “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.”
Peter momentarily forgets the night-long ordeal and asks to walk to Christ across the waves; Christ beckons him, “Come.” Peter leaps out of the boat, miraculously walking on the boiling waves until his is distracted by the wind; Peter sinks and cries out. Christ rebukes Peter, repeating His previous rebuke during the calming of the storm: “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” Christ grabs hold of Peter with an overpowering strength, physically lifting him up from the depths and helping Peter in the boat. Christ stills the wind and the disciples prostrate themselves, proclaiming His Divinity.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Divine King, Christ purposefully allows the disciples to experience a harrowing trial and harshly rebukes them for their lack of faith. Son of God, Christ has the knowledge and power to be seen in the dark and to miraculously walk, and allow Peter to walk, on violent waves; the Apostles confirm His divinity. Son of Man, Christ exhibits incredible stamina and strength, requiring little/sleep and exhibiting supernatural physical strength.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) For many men, Christ is historical, conceptual and/or feminized. Reflect on Christ’s robust and commanding physical manliness in today’s Gospel, imagining you are an eye-witness. Be awed.
2) The modern technology-driven world entices with comfort and convenience, leading men to become soft, lethargic and vulnerable to temptations of the flesh. Christ forms His men through trial. Commit to mortify the flesh (e.g. abstain from a food, fasting, exercise, etc.), sacrificing a pleasure to draw closer to Christ.
3) Like the Apostles, men can become fearful in times of trial. Reflect on how Peter sinks when he takes his eyes off Christ and pray for Christ’s help to always keep you focused on Him.
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