Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 7th Week in Ordinary Time – Wednesday – Mark 9:38-40
Despite the disciples constant experience of witnessing Christ’s miracles and receiving His teachings and revelations, the disciples continue to be confused about Christ and themselves. After hearing the disciples arguing about which of them is the greatest, Christ rebukes them by telling them they must become servants, even to the extent as to receive lowly children in Christ’s name.
John, the youngest of the disciples and called a Son of Thunder by Christ Himself (Mark 3:17), demonstrates his combative nature by wanting to stifle someone else who is casting out demons in the Name of Jesus. John’s troubling reason is that the other exorcist does not follow “us”; this in contrast to following “Christ.” John has not yet realized his own smallness and that all power and glory comes exclusively from Christ.
Christ rebukes John, saying that all who authentically (evidently the exorcist was successful and Christ approves) perform acts in His Name are not to be prevented. Going further, Christ reveals that those who perform other acts in His Name (giving drink to the thirsty) will be rewarded, presumably in Heaven. Christ also reveals the nature of the ongoing spiritual combat by speaking in terms of “for” and “against.” Interestingly, Christ acknowledges the growing Church (“us”) and is beginning to grant authority to the disciples to prevent or not prevent.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God, Christ affirms the reality of demonic activity and the need for exorcism and the reality of the spiritual combat. Divine King, Christ rebukes even His beloved disciple John when necessary. Divine Teacher, Christ confirms the great spiritual battle in the world and describes how Christians must be in unity. Divine Judge, Christ reveals that the deeds of those who serve the needy (the thirsty) is His Name are known and will be rewarded by His Grace.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Marvel at Christ’s broad (in fact, infinite) perspective of Salvation History which allows for those who are not in full communion with Him can serve His purpose and eventually be saved through His own Grace (to reward).
2) Christ speaks in terms of Spiritual Combat, the reality that Satan and men of the world are against Christ; realize that you are in the midst of a raging battle between evil and good. Reflect on God’s “Divine Providence” (CCC 302-324) that mysteriously allows for physical and moral evil to exist; pray for Christ to “deliver us from evil” and to help you become a committed soldier for Christ in the Spiritual Combat.
3) Despite the great scandal of those who are not in full communion with Christ’s Catholic Church (Orthodox, Protestants, etc.), Christ tolerates those who are not yet fully in communion. Review the Catechism’s teaching that “The Church is One” (CCC 813-822) and pray for Christ to heal the deep wounds of confusion and dissension and return the Church to complete unity.
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