Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 20th Week in Ordinary time – Monday – Matthew 19:16-22
Moved by the poverty and humility of little children and revealing the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to the humble childlike, Jesus now encounters the opposite: The Rich Young Man. The Rich Young Man, supremely confident, pushes through the crowd, showing minimal respect for Christ before impetuously asking what “good deed” would help him reach heaven. Blinded by his wealth, the young man thinks he can “buy” his way into Heaven with “deeds” and self-righteously believes he is well on his way.
Knowing the young man lacks humility, certainly poverty and likely a love of God, Christ coldly redirects him towards God (ironically, standing right in front of him) and further deflates his pride by telling him to focus on the basics: keep the Commandments. Disrespectfully, the young man, not realizing he is addressing God Himself, asks an impatient question, “Which?” To test him, Jesus mentions parts of the 10 Commandments that focus only on neighbor (and not God). The arrogant young man falsely claims to have kept “all” these commandments (who keeps “all” the commandments?) but fails to mention God, confirming Christ’s insight about the young man’s stunted spirituality.
The young man, growing desperate and realizing something serious is still missing, asks Christ what he still lacks. Christ tells the Rich Young Man that if he wishes to be “perfect”, he must give away all his possessions and to “follow Me“, an invitation to give himself completely to God. The young man, attached to his worldliness and possessions and lacking true desire for God, refuses Christ’s invitation and leaves in sadness.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Divine King, Christ abhors mediocrity and calls all His men to the perfection of sainthood; He deals bluntly with those needing correction. Divine Prophet, Christ has profound insight into the Rich Young Man’s heart, immediately seeing that he is failing to seek God. Divine Teacher, teaches with mysterious irony, blunt statements and memorable metaphors that still intrigue and draw men to Christ’s message.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Some men have profitably cultivated the skill to “read people”, picking up their micro-facial expressions and reading body language. Be awed (reverence and fear) by Christ’s supernatural power to perfectly read outer indications and to perfectly read the most minute details of every man’s soul.
2) Men are buffeted by images dizzying wealth and worldly skills (business tycoons, celebrities, athletes, etc.) of “great men.” While it is clear that the vast majority of men never achieve stratospheric worldly success, every single Catholic man can strive for the perfection of sainthood. Pray for Christ to give you a burning desire to strive for the perfection of sainthood and send the Holy Spirit to help you.
3) Like the Rich Young Man’s arrogant claims to have kept “all the commandments”, many men fail to rigorously examine their conscience on a regular basis and deceive themselves about the state of their souls. Do a rigorous Examine of Conscience and get to Confession as soon as possible.
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