Jesus reveals the horrible details of His coming Passion for the second time. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Fear of the Lord from the Holy Spirit so he can dread ever being separated from God due to his sin and by pursuing the Virtue of Studiousness so he can tirelessly study the Gospels of Jesus Christ.
25th Week in Ordinary time – Saturday – Lk 9:43b-45
As background for today’s Gospel, Jesus has been forming His Apostles to be leaders who will spread His Gospel worldwide: He has given the Sermon on the Plain, healed multitudes, raised the son of the widow of Nain, miraculously calmed the storm, Fed the 5000, revealed He is the Messiah, been Transfigured, and explicitly predicted His Passion. And yet, the Apostles remain confused at some of His sayings.
Jesus emphatically reveals the startling reality of His coming Passion, saying, “Let these words sink into your ears, for the Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men.” The “Son of Man” was a mysterious phrase, but not unknown to Jews, appearing over 100 times in the Old Testament (Dan 7:13-14). Given Jesus’ explicit confirmation that He is the Christ and His prediction of the Passion (Lk 9:18-22), it seems strange that the Apostles are confused. The reason for their confusion is revealed: Jesus has supernaturally concealed the meaning for a time, perhaps so they might remember and marvel when His prophecies come true.
Just before the revelation of His coming Passion, Jesus cast a demon out of a young boy and severely rebuked His disciples who had failed to help the boy: “O faithless and perverse nation. How long am I to be with you and bear with you?” Still stung by Jesus’ blunt rebuke, the disciples are afraid to question Him about the saying.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel at Jesus, the Divine Prophet: with Divine Knowledge, Jesus refers to the ancient prophecies about Himself which He inspired to be written and accurately predicts His own death; Divine Power, Jesus mysteriously renders the disciples unable to understand His meaning until the Passion; Intimidating in His Personality, the disciples are too frightened to ask Him questions.
Strive to have great Fear of the Lord
Realize: Many today falsely promote a sweet and tender counterfeit Jesus to make Him more “acceptable” to oversensitive and unrepentant sinful men, and to avoid the reality of His extremely demanding and unwavering call for men to repent from sin or face the consequences of Hell; in reality, Jesus Christ frequently speaks with fearsome authority and often instills a holy fear in men, intimidating even the tough men who are His Apostles.
Believe: Reflect upon The Fear of the Lord (CCC 1041, 1303, 1831, 1845, 1949, 2084, 2116, 2144, 2150), the “beginning of all wisdom” (Prov 9:10).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of the Fear of the Lord so I have a deep awe of God’s almighty power and dominion, I realize my own smallness and sinfulness, and I rely on God to lead me to do His Will.
Tirelessly study the Gospels to hear Jesus
Realize: Despite the deliberate effort by God through His Holy Catholic Church to ensure that Scripture is available to every Catholic man, so they may know Him and His desire for men to understand (“Let these words sink into your ears…”), the vast majority of Catholic men do not regularly read Scripture; to grow in holiness, every Catholic man must build a disciplined daily habit of drawing closer to Jesus in Scripture.
Believe: Reflect upon the Need to Read Sacred Scripture (CCC 133, 141, 1437, 2653).
Pray: Jesus, the Source of Scripture, help me grow in the Virtue of Studiousness (a part of Temperance) so I build a disciplined daily habit of meditating upon the Gospels and other books of the Bible, draw ever-closer to You and lead my family to meet, know and love You in Sacred Scripture.