As background for today’s reading, Christ has been forming His Apostles for their roles as leaders in the spreading of His Gospel worldwide: He has given the Sermon on the Mount, healed thousands, raised the son of the widow of Nain, miraculously calmed the storm and Fed the 5000, revealed that He is the Messiah, been transfigured and explicitly predicted His Passion. And yet, the Apostles remain confused at some of His sayings.

He says to them: “the Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men.” The “Son of Man” was a mysterious phrase, but not unknown to Jews, appearing over 100 times in the Old Testament. Given Christ’s explicit confirmation that He is the Christ and His prediction of the Passion (Luke 9:18-22), it seems strange that the Apostles are confused. The reason for their confusion is revealed: Christ has concealed the meaning for a time, perhaps so they might remember and marvel when Christ’s prophecies come true.

Just before this reading, Christ has cast a demon out of young boy and severely rebuked His disciples who had failed to help the boy: “O faithless and perverse nation. How long am I to be with you and bear with you?”  Still stung by Christ’s rebuke, the disciples are afraid to question Him about the saying.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, with dominion over all Creation, Christ casts out demons and causes crowds to marvel. He has the power to mysteriously “conceal” His meaning from the disciples. Son of Man, Christ is the long-awaited MessiahDivine King, Christ is direct in His commands and strikes fear and awe in His disciples.  Divine Prophet, Christ offers mysterious prophecies of His coming Passion.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) With the constant innovation and change in modern society, ancient things become lost to the minds of men. Reflect on the fact that 600 years before the Incarnation, the Prophet Daniel predicted Christ the Son of Man’s arrival. Be awed.

2) The sweet and gentle, feminized Jesus portrayed by some in order to make Jesus more “acceptable” to oversensitive modern men is a counterfeit Christ. The true Jesus Christ speaks with fearsome authority and often instills a holy fear in men. Reflect on Christ’s awesome insight and power to judge your soul.

3) Despite the deliberate effort by God to ensure that Scripture is available to men so they may know Him, most men don’t read Scripture. Reflect on Christ’s command to “Let these words sink into your ears…” and commit to persevere in hearing Christ each day in Scripture.

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