For some time now, there has been a Catholic “man-crisis” in the Church.  Men have been leaving the Catholic Church in droves and those who remained are largely lukewarm in their faith.

There are a number of causes, but certainly one of the causes is that the Church has become feminized – priests and catechists of all sorts wish to be “inclusive” and to avoid language that might appear to be considered “masculine”.

Of course, when you stop talking to men, they stop listening.

Men listened to Jesus.  Why?  Perhaps it is because Our Mighty King spoke to men with language they understood.

Example:  The Gospel (Matt 7:21-29) from today’s reading speaks directly to a male audience with a parable that a man can relate to and with directive and blunt language that a man “gets” :

[21] “Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [22] On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  [23] And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’  [24]”Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; [25] and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  [26] And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand;  [27] and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.” [28] And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, [29] for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.”

There are several things to note:

  • Jesus speaks of a “kingdom”; men rally to kings.
  • Wow: Jesus speaks bluntly!  “Depart from me, you evildoers”.  Men like clarity about where they stand.  Sadly, so often today sin is soft-peddled.  Not so with Jesus.
  • The parable of the Builder.  Here Jesus appeals in a direct way to a man’s heart:  Men build stuff.  Men build houses.  And every man who has built something knows how to build something that doesn’t work; men know what it is like to fail when building something…and want to make things that last.

For those who wish to “feminize” Jesus and move towards a “genderless” Church, they should return to Jesus’ own words. Over and over again Jesus uses language that speaks to a man; examples are many, but these parables are feature male characters: The Good Samaritan, The Prodigal Son, The Rich Fool, The Two Sons, The Unrighteous Servant.

Lesson for Men’s Evangelization:  If you wish men to listen, speak to them in language that they will understand.  The best way to do that?  Return to the Gospels and the words and actions of Our Lord Jesus Christ.