Jesus reveals that men must put the pursuit of Heaven above all else. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Diligence so he can strive to reduce sin in his life and by growing in the Virtue of Fraternity so he can grow in holiness with the help of a band of Catholic brothers.
17th Week in Ordinary time – Wednesday – Mt 13:44-46
Continuing with His magnificent Sermon of Parables (Mt 13), Jesus describes the experience of conversion and the spontaneous complete commitment that comes when a man is given the grace to discover Christ’s Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus gives two descriptions of a man’s conversion when he finally discovers the immeasurable value of the Kingdom of Heaven. Some men, not actively searching, stumble upon the Truth of Christ’s Kingdom like the man who accidentally finds the treasure buried in the field. Other men diligently search for the Truth of Jesus as the pearl merchant searches for a pearl of great value. Upon finding that thing of highest value, both men are converted and their lives totally change. So too, when men are given the grace to come to know Jesus Christ, they realize that He offers everything a man could ever desire and that they must give up everything to be one of His disciples. For men who have true conversion in Christ, it is the greatest and most important moment of their lives.
Following true conversion, men must make a commitment to break with the past to obtain the Kingdom of Heaven. Both men in the parables urgently spring into action. Both are emotionally charged and full of zeal; the pearl merchant is overwhelmed with joy after his arduous search. Both men make the “all in” commitment, sacrificing their old lives by selling everything to take possession of their treasure; Jesus reiterates the need for an “all in” commitment to obtain the treasure of Heaven when He tells the Rich Young Man he must sell everything to follow Him (Mt 19:21).
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be impressed by Jesus, the Divine King and greatest Leader, as He rallies His men: Son of God, Jesus has first-hand experience of the astounding glories and joys of Heaven; His experience of Heaven, fills Jesus with Joy and a powerful Enthusiasm, which combined with His compelling Charisma, inspires men to believe and hope for Heaven.
Diligently work to reduce sin in your life
Realize: The majority of Catholic men are casual in their faith, failing to keep even the basic Precepts of the Church, and almost all men go through periods of being lukewarm where they stray from God and wander into sin; given Satan’s relentless attacks on men, every Catholic man needs to have a mindset of continual repentance and conversion.
Believe: Reflect upon Concupiscence (CCC 1264, 1426, 2515) and the need for continual Conversion and Penance (CCC 1427-1433).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Diligence (a part of Temperance) so I grow in self-control to avoid temptation and sin, I continually repent when I fall into sin, and diligently build a regular discipline to receive Your forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance.
Grow in holiness with a few Catholic brothers
Realize: To build the Kingdom, Jesus focused on building fraternity among men, using language and approaches that spoke to the hearts of men: Jesus incarnates as a man and reveals God as “Father”; Jesus selects men as Apostles for He knows that men follow men; almost all of Christ’s parables use exclusively male characters so men can relate to them; Jesus speaks with masculine language which appeals to men (builders, fishermen, farmers, wars, enemies, shepherds, kings).
Believe: Reflect upon the need to Build Catholic Fraternity (CCC 361, 1931,1939-1942).
Pray: Jesus, Divine King, help me grow in the Virtue of Fraternity (a part of Justice) so I make friends with many Catholic men, and I build deep brotherhood with a few to grow in holiness together across the years.