Despite numerous clashes with the Pharisees and their ongoing schemes to trap and kill Him, Christ accepts the invitation for a Sabbath feast from a prominent Pharisee, knowing that many Pharisees are there hoping to catch Him in some error. Omitted in today’s reading (v. 2-6) Christ provocatively asks if it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. When the Pharisees refuse to answer, Christ miraculously cures a man with dropsy, justifying His action by asserting that the Pharisees would save their child or oxen who fell into a well on the Sabbath. The Pharisees unable to respond, remain silent.

Christ again attempts to break through the Pharisees’ rigid rules-bound religious myopia after watching them jostling for seats closest to the host to gain honor. He proposes and critiques two seating strategies, asserting that the humble approach is the better. Christ’s summary is a glimpse of the Judgment: he who exalts himself will be humbled (least in the Kingdom of Heaven or, worse, to end up in Hell) and those who humble themselves will be exalted (great in the Kingdom).

Having made a general rebuke to the prideful Pharisees, Christ boldly rebukes and corrects the prominent Pharisee host. Christ directs the man to stop inviting his family and friends to his banquets and to start inviting the poor. Rather than settle for the short-term benefit of getting invited to other banquets, Christ tells the man to aspire to gain the reward of the resurrection.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ asserts His dominion over the Sabbath and reveals the reality of the resurrection and how one can be rewarded. Son of Man, Christ boldly and fearlessly confronts the Pharisees.  Divine King, Christ aggressively and authoritatively directs the murderous Pharisees. Divine Teacher, Christ has a keen eye for men’s behaviors and sins and offers clear direction to help men become holy. Divine Judge, Christ mysteriously reveals one of the criteria (humility) of His Judgment.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Men are impressed by heroic men who fearlessly challenge the powerful. Reflect on Christ’s courageous willingness to aggressively confront the Pharisees on their own turf even as they plot to kill Him.

2) Men pridefully seek status, puffing up resumes, bragging about conquests and trash talking. Pray for Christ to awaken you to your own pride “blindspot” and to help you become the humble man He demands you to be.

3) Men seek acclaim by conspicuous giving; being a “gold level donor”, having one’s name show up on contributor’s lists, having one’s name on a wall/building. Pray for a movement of the Spirit to help you more fully embrace Christ’s urging to personally serve the poor.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Trinity

Virtue of the Day – Charity

Corporal Work of Mercy – To feed the hungry

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To admonish the sinner