Following the mocking of the hypocritical Pharisees and calling men to confront their own sins in the Sermon on the Plain, Christ exhorts men to produce good works and explains how good works flow from a man’s commitment to build an inner life on Christ.

Christ defines what characterizes His disciples and those who are evil. Christ’s disciples life lives of goodness (good trees which bear grapes and figs) because Christ lives in them (good treasure of the heart).  Evil men live evil lives (thorn or bramble bushes which produce only thorns) because they embrace evil (treasure of evil in the heart). Christ reveals that men’s outward acts of good or evil are the result of the state of a man’s heart (inner life).

Christ rebukes hypocritical men who appear to be followers (“Lord, Lord”) but do not 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.

Awed by Jesus ChristDivine 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 ruin of the house).

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Years of watered-down and boring presentation of Catholic doctrine has contributed to millions of Catholic men leaving the faith. Re-read today’s Gospel, imaging being in Christ’s presence as He teaches; as the Son of God, He is the most compelling man who has ever lived.

2) Most Catholic men mistakenly practice “low-cost Catholicism” (occasional Mass attendance, occasional Confession), believing it is sufficient; Christ rebukes those who simply say “Lord, Lord” who don’t follow His teachings. Reflect on Christ’s call to the hard work of bearing “good fruit” and toiling to “build a house”; pray that He help you 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. 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 Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtue of the Day – Hope

Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead