Having warned the disciples of the destruction that comes to those who cause a little one to sin and of the need for disciples to offer unlimited forgiveness to the repentant, the Apostles beg Christ to “Increase our faith!”  The Apostles, the ones chosen and blessed by Christ, have the self-awareness and soberness of mind to realize that Christ’s demands of them exceed their faith. They are afraid of Christ’s demands and His wrath (to be thrown into the sea with a millstone around the neck – v. 17:2).

In response, Christ exhorts the disciples to seek faith, for even small faith (as small as a mustard seed) can achieve impossible supernatural things (to uproot and move a giant tree with a word to grow in the sea!). Christ makes no demands of His men that He will not ensure they can meet if they will only have complete faith in Him.

Christ continues His sober warnings to the Apostles about whatever they may achieve through the supernatural blessings of Christ’s Grace. Christ sends out His Apostles/disciples (servants or slaves) out into the world (field) to do His  work (plowing, shepherding) of evangelization and serving the poor. He tells the Apostles/disciples (servants or slaves) that it is absurd (to expect the Master to serve the servants) for Christ’s men to expect reward for doing what Christ commands. Christ expects each disciple to do as He commands and to simply and humbly do their duty. The work of doing Christ’s commands is impossible for men without the faith that Christ grants; anything a man might do that has any worth is because Christ has done it through the man.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has the infinite power to allow His disciples to do the impossible if they will have faith.  Divine King, Christ is a tough leader who sets the bar impossibly high and rebukes His disciples for their mediocre faith. Divine Teacher, Christ instructs His disciples to grow in faith using phrases that stick in the memory (e.g. Faith as small as a mustard seed).

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Sadly, Christ is now commonly misrepresented as making no demands on men and offering mercy even for those who refuse to repent and amend their lives. Reflect on Christ’s warnings of destruction to men who corrupt others and His calls for men to offer limitless forgiveness for the repentant; heed also the Apostle’s holy fear at Christ’s expectations.

2) Men are increasingly failing in their God-given duty to lead their families to Christ, scandalously allowing their wives and children to drift into sin. Pray for Christ to shock your soul with holy fear and to to grant you humility, faith and grit to do as He commands.

3) Few men are endowed to achieve greatness by the world’s standards (e.g. billionaires, gold medalists, superstars, etc.); most men are “kinda average.”  Pray for Christ to help you realize the eternal greatness of becoming a saint and that He give you the faith and power to do so.

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