Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 1st Week of Advent – Saturday – Matthew 9:35-10:1,5a, 6-8
Following His comprehensive Sermon on the Mount, Christ comes down from the mountain with His disciples and begins an arduous campaign to preach the coming of His Kingdom and to heal the multitudes. As He engages the travels to cities and villages and synagogues, Christ is struck with visceral compassion for the people are harassed and helpless. He shares His sorrow for the multitudes with His apostles and tells them to pray for the “Lord of the Harvest” to send workers (Matt 9:36).
Christ 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.
Christ charges the Apostles to announce “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” 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. Christ gives the Apostles the mindset an evangelist must have. They are to offer Christ’s gifts of healing without cost. They are to be completely reliant on Christ to provide for them in their mission work, taking no money or provisions.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of Man, Christ has deep-felt compassion for His creation. Divine Physician, Christ heals every infirmity at will. Son of God, Jesus has absolute dominion over Creation and grants both authority and power to His disciples. Divine Priest, Jesus establishes a new priesthood that continues in unbroken continuity 2000 years later. Divine King and Greatest Leader, Jesus systematically develops His disciples by training them and testing them. He grants authority and the mission to His 12 Apostles to announce His Kingdom and to perform impossible acts; He gives precise and directive instructions as to the mindset and tactics the Apostles are to use.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Jesus Christ, the greatest leader in history, established His Church that still endures 2000 years on; it is by far the longest-lasting institution on earth. Reflect upon how Christ established and spread His Church.
2) As in Christ’s time, men continue to be harassed and helpless; the breakup of families, loneliness, addiction, materialism, economic stresses, job chaos, illness, etc. During Advent, go to Confession and confess your sins and beg Our King to give you mercy and help to endure your Cross.
3) Christ commands every Catholic man to evangelize, starting with his family and friends. This Advent, make the commitment to enter into Christ’s mysterious coming and draw your family and friends into the Spirit of Christmas.
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