Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 20th Week in Ordinary time – Thursday – Matthew 22:1-14
The Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday of the 20th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 22:1-14.
Having violently cleared the His Father’s Temple of the disrespectful money-changers and merchants, Christ continues His confrontation with the Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes by revealing the Parable of the Marriage Feast, which He gives to correct, persuade and convert both His enemies and all men.
God the Father (the King) is pleased with His Son (Christ) and has joyously prepared a spectacular wedding feast (the eternal Eucharist in the Kingdom of Heaven/The Mass) for His Son (the Bridegroom). Having invited His handpicked guests (Israel/current Catholics), the Father sends out prophets and evangelists (servants) to let men know the Heavenly feast is ready; men (previously invited guests) ignore God’s call. God, insulted but not angry, attempts again to invite His chosen men (sending out more servants) describing the great blessings (rich feast) to those who pursue Heaven (come to the feast). Remarkably, many mock, reject and even react violently to the Father’s invitation: some are seduced by the world (their farm/business) while others, rebellious and mired in sin, murder God’s evangelists (killing the servants). God (the King), in righteous anger, responds by casting evil doers (murders) into Hell (burning of their cities).
Zealous for men to be saved, God (the King) tirelessly sends the Apostles (servants) to invite all men (at the crossroads/the good and the bad) to come to Heaven (the wedding feast). God judges (scrutinizes the guests for their wedding garments/the Judgment) and sends those who are in mortal sin/unrepentant (unworthy; without wedding garments) into Hell (darkness) for eternal punishment (weeping and gnashing of teeth).
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ gives an insight into the Kingdom of Heaven and reveals the sobering truth that many, many men will not be found worthy. Divine Mercy, Christ, addressing His enemies who wish to kill Him, offers them both a invitation and a warning. Divine King, Christ is generous and patient and goes to extreme lengths to call men to His Kingdom. Divine Judge, Christ judges and gives harsh punishment to those who reject the Gospel and/or do evil. Divine Prophet, Christ’s parable foresees the rejection of the Gospel by many Jews and the stunning success in calling the Gentiles.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Since God created man, He has relentlessly called men to Himself. Reflect on how our Merciful God, despite the rejection of so many men, continues to tirelessly draw men (including you, personally) to Heaven.
2) The majority of Catholic men (70%+) take the Eucharist for granted, making excuses (I’m tired; I’m busy; I don’t get anything out of the Mass, etc.) for why thy don’t attend the obligatory weekly Mass. Reflect upon the many Fruits of Holy Communion (CCC 1391-1401, 1416) ) and pray for Christ to given you a powerful hunger for His life-saving Eucharist.
3) In Christ’s parable, the king casts the man lacking a “wedding garment” at the wedding fast into the darkness (Hell); Christ is warning men to not presume to approach Him in the Eucharist in an unworthy way. Reflect on the need to Prepare for Reception of the Eucharist (CCC 1385-1390) and pray for Christ to help you worthily prepare for every Mass through prayer, repentance, Confession, good deeds, respectful dress and a sense of awe to be in His Presence.