Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 19th Week in Ordinary time – Monday – Matthew 17:22-27
Having just rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith, Christ reveals that they will need faith to face the turmoil and uncertainty of His murder and Resurrection. Instead of receiving Christ’s prophecy with calmness, the disciples, still lacking faith, are greatly distressed.
Affirming Peter’s primacy, the men collecting the temple tax approach Peter for payment and Peter answers on Christ’s behalf. The meaning of Christ’s later question to Simon-Peter in the New American Bible translation (used in the Mass readings) is distorted with gender-neutral language. Here is an accurate translation of verses 25-26 using the RSVCE: “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from others?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free.” With the accurate translation, Christ reaffirms important truths: the Divine Patriarchy of Kingship (Father, Son and Holy Spirit); His deliberate establishment of the patriarchy (rule by men) of the Catholic Church; the specific call to men to be adopted sons/princes in Christ’s Kingdom; the freedom of Christ’s sons from the ritual practice of the Old Covenant; Christ’s specific call to greatness for men.
After instructing Peter with the truth about paying the Temple Tax (Christ’s followers are exempt, for they are His sons), Christ demonstrates to Peter the need to be savvy with evangelization; in this case, to avoid conflict in the short term by simply paying the Temple Tax. To ensure Peter remembers, and perhaps to actually have the money to pay the tax, Jesus performs a small miracle.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ reasserts the reality of His Kingdom and the essential nature of patriarchy in the Church; He also performs miracles using His Creation. Divine King, Christ’s selection of Peter as His chosen leader is recognized by even non-believers. Divine Prophet, Christ reveals His coming Passion and Resurrection. Divine Teacher, Christ instructs Peter about how to think about and deal with the Old Covenant.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not make mistakes; He purposefully establishes His Kingdom and specifically calls men to be leaders in His Kingdom. Reflect on Christ’s perfect and deliberate emphasis on the call to men in this passage.
2) The distorted translation of today’s Gospel reading in the New American Bible demonstrates the corrosive impact of radical feminism in the Church. Pray for Christ to cleanse His Church of distortion and for His Truth to be preached in fullness.
3) In a world in free-fall moral decline and a Church that often fails to take courageous Catholic stands, men are tempted to fight every battle. Reflect on Christ’s approach of picking His battles and pray for Him to guide you to take prudent action.
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