Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 3rd Week in Ordinary Time – Monday – Mark 3:22-30
While the multitude marvel, recently-arrived scribes from Jerusalem murmured among themselves, absurdly accusing Christ as colluding with Beelzebul; “Beelzebul” was a derogatory term (“Lord of Dung”) used by the Jews for the false god of the Philistines, who in reality is Satan. With this slur, the scoffing scribes attempt to denigrate the Son of Man with a severe accusation which could be punished by stoning Him to death.
Knowing the the scribes are uttering evil to condemn Him, Christ brusquely summons and confronts them. Ironically, the scribes’ rejection of Jesus does the work of Satan and they are guilty of what they have accused Jesus. Revealing the absurdity of their murmured charge, Christ exposes their illogical accusation by pointing out that Satan does not attack Satan. Christ further explains in a parable: Satan (strong man), who is powerful, guards those he has corrupted (his goods) by enticements to sin. Only Christ is capable to bind Satan and rescue the possessed.
Christ then offers a dire warning to the scribes. He confirms the great blessing that God will forgive even insults against Him. Mysteriously revealing His divinity, Christ warns the scribes that their accusations that He is possessed by and cooperating with Satan, are blasphemous and unforgivable; this is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Some, who’s minds become so closed as to deny God or call Him evil, close themselves off to forgiveness; Christ is offering the scribes the mercy of a warning so that they might repent and be forgiven.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ confirms the existence and evil action of Satan in the world and some of the behaviors of demons who prowl the world. Christ is omniscience and “knows” the thoughts of men. Divine King, Christ rebukes His would-be attackers and challenges men to choose sides; either the Kingdom of Heaven or the kingdom of Satan. He easily exposes the lack of logic in the minds of His enemies. Divine Teacher, Christ reveals truths about the demonic using memorable examples (“the strong man”).
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Despite being accused by the scribes of sins that could result in being stoned to death, marvel at Christ’s authoritative and courageous confrontation of the scribes.
2) Like the confused scribes, many Catholic men today are confused about Christ; some stop practicing the faith, some dabble in the occult, some have doubts and some deny God’s existence. Review the Church’s teaching about the 1st Commandment (CCC 2084-2141) and pray for Christ to help you grow in love for God.
3) As a man seeks to imitate Christ the Perfect Man, must strive to grow in virtue; the word “virtue” comes from the Latin root vir, meaning “man”. Reflect upon the Church’s teachings about virtue (CCC 1803-1845) and pray for Christ to help you grow in virtue.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Souls in Purgatory
Virtue of the Day – Prudence
Corporal Work of Mercy – To give drink to the thirsty
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To instruct the ignorant