Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 1st Week of Advent – Thursday – Matthew 7:21, 24-27
In the grand summary of Christ’s Gospel in the Sermon on the Mount, Christ exhorts men to produce good works and explains how good works flow from a man’s commitment to build an inner life exclusively on Him and His teachings. Half measures will lead to destruction.
Christ rebukes hypocritical men who appear to be followers (“Lord, Lord”) but do not do the will of the Father in Heaven. In verses excluded from today’s reading (v. 22-23), Christ warns false Christians that, despite their evidently good works, He will reject them as evildoers. Christ’s urging is that men give themselves fully, with obedience and humility, to God and to relentlessly seek to do His will.
Using the Parable of the Builder, Christ exhorts men strive to grow in sainthood (digging a deep foundation) by focusing on His teachings (foundational rock); when the storms of life and the Judgment comes, a man’s life (house) will withstand the storm. Men who lazily fail to strive for sainthood (digging a shallow foundation) and base their lives (house) on faulty morality (sand) will face destruction when the storms of life and the Judgment comes. Christ’s words astonish the crowds (v. 28-29).
Awed by Jesus Christ – Divine King, Christ asserts His Will and commands that His followers must do what He says. Divine Teacher, Christ gives logical and compelling parables which continue to change men’s hearts. Divine Judge, Christ reveals some of His criteria for the Judgment (good or bad fruit) and that some will go to Heaven (surviving the storm) and some will go to Hell (the great fall of the house).
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Many Catholic men have yet to be awed by Christ. Re-read today’s Gospel, realizing that He is “Lord” and that He has the omniscience and power to determine who will have eternal life.
2) Advent is a time for men to “re-up” in their commitment to Christ. Pray for Christ to help you make the commitment to give your entire self to Him and to live a vibrant Catholic faith.
3) A rock-solid faith that can withstand life’s storms (Satan’s attacks, personal tragedy) is built on a foundation of daily prayer. Vow to pray every day for the rest of your life. This Advent, study the Catechism’s teaching on prayer (Part 4 – Christian Prayer) and pray for Christ to help you to grow in your prayer life.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist
Virtue of the Day – Fortitude
Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently