Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 21st Week in Ordinary time – Friday – Matthew 25:1-13
After revealing the violent worldwide turmoil and coming judgment of men in Matthew Chapter 24, in the second of three parables, Christ again exhorts men to be morally ready at all times for His coming for He will ultimately judge all men.
After a period of betrothal (married but living apart for a period of time prior to sexual relations), Jewish marriage customs at the time of Christ included the procession from the bride’s house to the groom’s house, often at night with lit torches, for a week-long feast. In the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Maidens, Catholics (10 maidens) wait for Christ (the Bridegroom) to arrive (come again/meet at the Judgment), uncertain when they will meet Christ (die and meet Him or when He will come again). All Catholics are imperfect (fall asleep).
Faithful Catholics (5 wise maidens) hold to the Catholic faith (hold lamps) and store up a reservoir of good works (are prepared with plenty of oil). Causal Catholics (5 foolish maidens) profess faith (hold lamps) but do not yield the fruit of good works (no oil). When Christ does arrive (the Judgment) for the marriage feast (Heaven), Casual Catholics (foolish maidens) who are without sufficient good works (oil) will be rejected by Christ (I do not know you) and not enter (door is shut) Heaven (wedding feast). Wise men (wise maidens) with good works (oil) will be rewarded with entry into Heaven (wedding feast).
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ is the Bridegroom for the eternal wedding feast of Heaven. Divine Teacher, Christ constructs memorable parables that build off of everyday life to teach and remember key spiritual truths. Divine Judge, Christ is the “gatekeeper” of Heaven and will allow the faithful to enter and the unfaithful will be turned away.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Some like to argue that there is a reasonable hope that all men are saved. Reflect on this (and many other) teachings of Christ that confirm that He will exclude many from Heaven. Heaven is not a “gimme.”
2) Because the reality of the Beatific Vision of God in Heaven is impossible to fully grasp, it is rarely discussed in many parishes. Give thanks that Christ offers a glimmer of Heaven as a spectacular and joyful wedding feast, an image that men can imagine and aspire to.
3) In these dark days of sexual promiscuity, many mock the idea of chastity and virginity. Be strengthened in the battle for chastity by Christ’s Parable of the Maidens which features virginity (maidens), chaste relations (betrothal) and the celebration of marriage.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ
Virtue of the Day – Faith
Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries