The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter is John 10:22-30.

Christ returns to Jerusalem for the mid-winter Feast of the Dedication (Hanukkah, a celebration of the Judas Maccabee’s cleansing and rededication of the Temple) and is pursued by the hostile Jewish leadership. Confronting Christ in the Temple, the frustrated Jewish leadership demands that Christ tell them plainly if He is the Messiah; their plan is to attack and kill Christ if He publicly declares that He is the Messiah.

Rather than retreat from the frustrated and hostile accusers, Christ responds with such clarity that the Jews will soon seek to stone Him. Christ first responds with a challenge, saying that He has already told them that He is the Messiah and they simply do not believe; for learned Jews who pride themselves on knowledge of Scripture, this is a profound insult for Christ is confirming that they lack the insight to grasp that He has already revealed His identity as the Messiah.

Christ then makes things very clear. Christ speaks of His Father, confirming that He is indeed the Son of God, and confirms His works are a supernatural demonstration of God’s power and proof of His identity. Christ asserts that God the Father has given Him disciples (sheep) and that no man can take His disciples; Christ reveals that He has the power to grant eternal life to His disciples. Christ offers a blunt, condemning and insulting rebuke; His accusers are not favored by the Father, perhaps will not receive eternal life and are powerless to stop Christ. The Jews have gotten their answer and will immediately attempt (and fail) to kill Christ by stoning Him to death.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ claims to be in perfect unity with the Father and performs miraculous works. Divine Providence, Christ has a plan and the power to protect His own.  Divine Prophet, Christ offers compelling proof of His divinity and makes prophetic statements which come to pass in the future. Divine Mercy, Christ engages His enemies and offers them the opportunity to repent.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) While Christ rebukes the evil of the Jewish leadership, marvel at His merciful tolerance of the ignorant and futile rebellion of men whom He created and His attempt to reason with them.

2) The Father and the Son are perfectly united in the Spirit.  During Easter, renew your understanding of the Trinity (CCC 249-267) and pray for Christ to lead you into a deeper relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

3) Each man goes through periods when he is tormented by others (insults, threats, physical attack, economic loss). During Easter, return to the Divine Providence of God (CCC 302-324) and pray for Christ to help you rely on His promise that He will give eternal life and that no one can “snatch” you out of His hand.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Guardian Angels

Virtue of the Day – Justice

Corporal Work of Mercy – To clothe the naked

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To counsel the doubtful