The Gospel reading from the Mass for Wednesday of the 25th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 9:1-6.

After forming the Apostles over a period of months, Christ commissions them to go and make disciples. Having demonstrated His authority by preaching and healing, Christ launches the first phase of His divine plan to evangelize all nations by delegating His authority to 12 hand-picked men; the Apostles (meaning “to be sent”) are granted authority and power to cast out demons and cure every disease and and to announce the Kingdom of God among the Israelites.

Christ’s selection and approach of picking 12 men is purposeful. Focusing 12 men to go to Israel symbolically represents Christ’s desire for the 12 tribes of  the “lost sheep of Israel” to be the first to be healed and drawn into the Kingdom of God. Christ exclusively chooses men to establish a new priesthood for His New Covenant and to underscore the essential role that men must play in the Church.

Christ gives the Apostles the mindset an evangelist must have. They are to offer Christ’s gifts of healing without cost. They are to be completely reliant on Christ to provide for them in their mission work, taking no money or provisions. Christ then gives the Apostles precise instructions upon entering a village; they are to find a worthy household and remain there until they move to the next village. If a village refuses to receive them, the Apostles are to publicly rebuke those who are unwilling; “shaking off the dust from one’s feet” is a symbolic act of judgment and a curse.  It is an ominous sign and call to conversion.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has absolute dominion over Creation and grants both authority and power to His Apostles to perform impossible acts. Divine Priest, Christ establishes a new priesthood that continues in unbroken continuity 2000 years later; Peter becomes the first of the popes of the Church. Divine King, Christ systematically develops His disciples by training them and testing them; He gives precise and directive instructions as to the mindset and tactics the Apostles are to use.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Though seldom considered, Jesus Christ is clearly the greatest leader in the history of mankind, for He established His Church that still thrives 2000 years on. Marvel at how Christ not only commands His Apostles to act, but provides precise instructions about how to evangelize, guidance that continue to bear fruit today in His worldwide Catholic Church.

2) The core of the Apostle’s message is the proclamation of the Kingdom of God; Christ is the King of the Kingdom of God. Reflect on Christ’s Kingship (CCC 783, 786, 2105) and pray for Christ to give you complete obedience to His (the King’s) Will and to live up to your duty as His servant.

Christ directs the Apostles to preach, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”; The Kingdom had arrived with Christ and remains a reality, often unrecognized, in the world today. Reflect on you acceptance of Christ’s Kingdom and pray for Christ to make you into the heroic Catholic man He calls you to be.

3) Speaking of patriarchy (the leadership/headship of men in families and society) brings scorn in the modern culture. Remember God is the Father, Jesus is the Son, The Holy Spirit is the spouse of the Holy Mother, Christ picks men to lead the Church and Paul designates men as “heads” of their household (1 Cor 11:3).  Give thanks for the Christ’s confirmation of the Authority of Men (CCC 551, 610, 765, 858, 908,1337) and pray for Christ to help you fearlessly accept and live up to your God-given role as the “head” (king) of your family.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – Saint Joseph

Virtue of the Day – Temperance

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the imprisoned

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To comfort the sorrowful