Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 5th Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle A – Matt 5:13-16
As a Person of the Trinity, Jesus called Moses to ascend a mountain to receive the 10 Commandments. In Matthew 5-7, Jesus, Himself, ascends a mountain in Galilee to deliver the Sermon on the Mount, a summary of the New Covenant, a perfection of the Old Covenant. After offering eight Beatitudes (“happinesses”) which describe how men can grow in happiness in this life and become adopted “sons of God”, Christ commands His disciples to evangelize the world.
Christ uses the metaphor of the seemingly common mineral salt in a profound way to speak of evangelization and the spiritual life. Salt is a valued commodity for it preserves food, brings joy to life and is essential for health. Similarly, disciples are called to be a living witness for the Gospel that preserves lives, families and societies, brings the peace of Christ and is essential for salvation of souls. Salt is also associated with being a priest (Num 18:19) and kingship (2 Chron 13:5); Christ is calling disciples to be priests and kings for the Gospel. Christ warns of the fatal danger of becoming lukewarm in the faith; those who lose their saltiness will be thrown out.
Using another powerful metaphor, light, Christ calls on men to take the light of the Gospel to the world. Referring to the Heavenly Jerusalem (The Kingdom of Heaven), Jesus insists that the disciples must not practice the faith in private but in public as part of a community. Christ uses the humorous example of lighting a lamp and covering it with a basket to expose the absurdity of hiding one’s faith. Christ exhorts the disciples to let their light shine before others, performing good deeds through the blessing of the Holy Spirit, good deeds that move others to glorify God the Father. What’s needed is both deeds and the proclamation of the Gospel.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ reveals that God is our Father in Heaven. Almighty King, Christ sets demanding requirements for men be bold in living and proclaiming the Gospel. Divine Judge, Christ alludes to the judgment of those who in their lukewarmness will be “thrown out” and “trampled under foot.” Divine Leader and Teacher, Christ inspires His disciples with uplifting oratory and uses powerful metaphors that have profound and lasting meaning.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Christ’s metaphors of salt and light remain powerful and are frequently referred to modern culture. Reflect on the fact that Christ’s teachings continue to flavor (salt) and illuminate (light) mankind over two thousand years after His Resurrection. Be awed.
2) In the Sermon of the Mount, Christ calls men to a heroic mission and way of living. Read the Church’s teaching about what it means to be one of the “People of God” (CCC 781-786) and pray for Christ to help you live up to His expectations for you.
3) Christ’s metaphors of salt and light are a call for men to perfection in charity. Renew your understanding of the call to perfection (CCC 825,1709, 2013, 2028) and pray for Christ’s help to inspire and strengthen you.
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