Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 2nd Week of Advent – Saturday – Matthew 17:9a,10-13
The Gospel reading from the Mass for Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent is Matthew 17:9a,10-13.
Following the supernatural Transfiguration in which Christ’s divinity is miraculously made manifest and He speaks with Moses and Elijah in front of Apostles Peter, James and John, Christ leads the His inner core team of Apostles down the mountain.
Astoundingly, Christ accurately speaks of His future Passion and His return in the Resurrection from the dead in a matter of fact way. Christ forbids His closest disciples from revealing the spectacular experience of the Transfiguration until after He has been raised from the dead. Christ’s reasons for not revealing His identity are mysterious but may include to avoid being falsely mistaken for a political messiah (which is what many Jews expected) and to allow His own mysterious plan to unfold.
The disciples, knowing the scriptures spoke of the return of Elijah (Mal 4:5) and having just seen Christ speaking with Elijah (Matt 17:3) during the Transfiguration, are perhaps confused why Elijah did not remain. Christ corrects them, revealing that Elijah has already come; John the Baptist is the new Elijah who has already announced the Messiah’s return in the Incarnation of Jesus.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ is supernaturally Transfigured and allows Peter, James and John to be witnesses; Moses and Elijah are also present as witnesses. Divine King, Christ allows His inner core of Apostles to witness a powerful manifestation of His Divinity to bolster their faith and sternly commands them not to reveal this miracle. Divine Prophet, Christ reveals hidden elements of Salvation History, describing John the Baptist’s and Elijah’s roles.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) When Scripture is approached casually or becomes familiar, the astounding impact of what is occurring can be lost. Ponder Christ’s accurate matter-of-fact description of His coming murder, His triumphant return at the Resurrection and His promised Second Coming.
2) The Apostles were filled with awe (fear and divine reverence) when they recognized the true Divinity and glory of Christ in the Transfiguration. During Advent, renew your understanding of the Eucharist/Tabernacle (CCC 1179-1186; 1373-1381) and pray for Christ to give you a new hunger for the Eucharist in the Mass.
3) Another powerful way to draw closer to Christ is to meet Him in sacred scripture. During Advent and in the start of the new liturgical year, renew your commitment to Sacred Scripture (CCC 101-141) and pray for Christ to help you sustain a daily habit of reading and contemplating Scripture, particularly the Gospels.
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