Jesus preaches to a multitude, warning of the Pharisees’ hypocrisy and God’s coming judgment. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Understanding from the Holy Spirit so he can be drawn into an ever deeper union with God and by fearing the fires of Hell and seeking the Gift of the Fear of the Lord from the Spirit so he can fear ever being separated from God due to his sin.
28th Week in Ordinary time – Friday – Lk 12:1-7
Following His devastating condemnation of the unrepentant Pharisees and lawyers, massive crowds follow Jesus, longing to hear and be healed by Him; the people are so frenzied and numerous that, “they trod upon one another.”
Jesus sums up the controlling weakness of the Pharisees, which was their blatant hypocrisy. The word “hypocrite” has Greek roots which mean to be, a “stage actor” or “pretender”; the Pharisees and scribes pretended to be holy, but were not. Jesus (God) has intimate knowledge of every man’s soul and clearly sees through the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and scribes. He warns that the Pharisees’ hypocrisy permeates all their teachings and corrupts all their followers, like leaven spreads throughout dough, and that men should reject the teaching of the Pharisees.
Jesus urges His disciples to not cower in the darkness because the Pharisees can only kill the body. Instead, Jesus vehemently warns that God should be feared; He is all powerful, all knowing, and can condemn the soul in eternity to Hell. The disciples should be courageous, for Jesus reveals the light of the Gospel will be proclaimed everywhere. He promises God, who has dominion over Heaven and Hell, knows everything, including the hairs on a man’s head, and will remember and protect the disciples when they are zealous and unafraid in proclaiming His Gospel. Jesus promises that His men are of great value and that God will take care of them.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel at Jesus, the Divine Prophet and perfection of Courage (a part of Fortitude) as He offers both Warnings of punishment and the Encouragement of Divine Protection (a part of Justice) to motivate men to be evangelizers: Jesus Warns that He (God), the Divine Judge, has the Power to cast those who fail to courageously proclaim the Gospel into Hell (Gehenna); He Encourages, confirming that God has Divine Knowledge of each soul’s circumstances, loves them and will protect the faithful.
Be drawn into an ever deeper union with God
Realize: While for many men, God is abstract, a historical figure, or a stranger, Jesus reveals that God has an intimate knowledge of every soul He has created and has a perfect and personal love for every man.
Believe: Reflect upon having a Personal Relationship with God (CCC 35, 37, 299, 2558).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so my heart and mind are filled with the wonderful truth of Your personal love for me, I am drawn into an ever deeper union with You, and I may truly know You and hear Your personal guidance to me; Lord, allow me to receive Your actual Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Fear Hell and becoming separated from God
Realize: Like many Jews worried about being attacked by the sinful Pharisees, today, many Catholic men fail to confront the growing evil in the world because they fear being slanderously labeled by sinners (hater, misogynist, racist, homophobic), but have lost the healthy fear of God; Jesus vehemently warns men to fear God, saying, “fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into Hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!”
Believe: Reflect upon Holy Fear (CCC 1041, 1303, 1831, 1845, 1949, 2084, 2116, 2144, 2150), the “beginning of all wisdom” (Prov 9:10).
Pray: Holy Spirit, help me have a great fear of the fires of Hell and give me the Gift of the Fear of the Lord so I recognize my many sins, I dread displeasing You, and I strive to never choose to do anything that could separate me from You.