After the Rich Man refuses the invitation to sell all his possessions and to follow Christ, Christ reveals that it is nearly impossible for those attached to wealth to enter into Heaven.  Alarmed, the disciples worry about their own salvation, wondering “Who then can be saved?”; Christ replies “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

Still worried, Peter, speaking for the Apostles, says, “Lo, we have given up everything and followed you”. Peter’s statement reflects the disciples have not yet been fully formed in Christ: the statement sounds like a boast; while they have given up possessions, they have not yet given up everything (their lives); the disciples are still squabbling for honor (Mark 9:34); they still resist suffering/the Cross (Mark 8:32).

Christ does not rebuke Peter directly, but makes a promise that both inspires and warns of the persecutions that come with discipleship. Christ reveals that those who give up possessions (home, lands) and family (father, mother, brother, sister…even children) for the sake of the Gospel will be rewarded in the present age (with fellowship and peace) and with eternal life; He confirms that disciple’s motivations for sacrifice must be pure, “…for My sake and the sake of the Gospel.” In the rewards, Christ slips in “persecutions”, a revelation and warning that suffering will come, but that persecutions will ultimately been seen as blessings (the Cross). Summing things up, Christ confirms “the first” (like the Rich Man) will be last, and “the last” (like the self-sacrificing Apostles) will be first.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ knows the blessings of Heaven and can promise eternal rewards.  Divine Judge, Christ assures that men who willingly sacrifice in His Name will be saved.  Divine King and Divine Mercy, continues to form His disciples and offers consultations to help them grow in commitment.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) The Apostles, though grown men are spiritual children who lack formation and often can’t grasp the reality of being in the presence of God. Marvel at Christ’s merciful patience and perseverance to form mere men into Apostles and Saints.

2) Like the Apostles, men of every age must sacrifice themselves for Christ and the Gospel. Men must make the effort to accept the Sacraments (CCC 1127-1134), live their Lives in Christ (CCC 1691-1698) and engage in Prayer (CCC 2558-2565).  Pray for Christ to help you to sacrifice yourself for Christ and His Gospel.

3) The pace of modern life and the conditioning for instant gratification makes it harder and harder for men to be patient. Grow in your understanding of The Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit (CCC 1830-1832) and pray for Christ to send the Holy Spirit to help you grow in patience (and all the Gifts and Fruits).

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