Having completed His work in Galilee, Jesus “sets His face” in steely determination and begins the heroic ascent to Jerusalem where He will proclaim Truth, suffer on the Cross and be “taken up” in triumph in the Ascension.

Christ calls for exclusive and absolute commitment of those who seek Heaven. He warns one enthusiastic man who makes a impulsive promise to Christ to “follow  you wherever You go” to expect extreme hardship as a disciple (i.e. nowhere to lay one’s head). After calling one man to “Follow me”, the man pleads with Christ to allow him to fulfill the sacred duty of burying his father; Christ offers a blunt and highly provocative rebuke (i.e. let the dead bury the dead) to make clear the the urgent and more sacred commitment of a Christian.

Another man, with great respect (calls Jesus, “Lord”), promises to follow Jesus, but requests permission to bid his family farewell. Jesus makes clear that those who weakly long for their old life (i.e. look back) are not worthy of the manly vocation (i.e. the plow) of being Christ’s disciple and the Kingdom of Heaven. Christ’s requirement for this kind of absolute commitment and obedience is stunning; it exceeds the demands of the Old Testament prophet Elijah who allowed his disciple Elisha to say goodbye to his parents (1 Kings 19:19-21).

Awed by Jesus ChristDivine King, Christ firmly rebukes overzealous or lukewarm men and demands absolute and exclusive commitment.  Divine Teacher, Christ knows that lukewarmness kills men and firmly teaches men the truth about discipleship.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Men look up to hard and demanding leaders who command respect and “set the bar high.” Reflect on Christ’s demanding expectations and no-nonsense approach to challenging men to discipleship.

2) Millions of Catholic men have not made the “100% all in” commitment that Christ demands; Christ makes it clear that they are not fit for Heaven. Pray for Christ to give you the faith, today, to give yourself heroically and completely to Christ.

3) Christ seeks unconditional devotion and routinely asks those He calls to heroic action. Are you taking action for Christ?  What is Christ calling you to do to build the Kingdom?

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