Jesus shows us the way to be a Catholic man

If we remain in Him, we can bear fruit from Him to give to others with a servant heart.

Photo: ‘Men in Holiness‘ Copyright 2014 Frank J Casella

Our first job as a Catholic man is to get ourselves to Heaven. Then, if married, to get our families to Heaven. This provides the foundation for God working through us towards making a positive difference in the world. Here are some things to reflect on how Jesus shows us to live as a Catholic man:

Matthew 20:26-28 – Serving is greater than being served.
26But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; 27e whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. 28 Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus was on mission with God’s vision for having and sharing a servants heart. His leadership / lifestyle comes from the actions that supplemented His words.

Proverbs 31:8-9 – Use our gifts and authority for others.
8Open your mouth in behalf of the mute, and for the rights of the destitute; 9Open your mouth, judge justly, defend the needy and the poor!

Look for your neighbors in need, and try to connect with helping them develop. Imagine the investment you would be making using the advantage you have to lift another person up.

Matthew 7:7 – Offer our acceptance.
7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Many times in Jesus’ life He was know to accept people who approached Him, and the way they should go. Like Jesus, we should not be selective and never force someone to change, but encourage and pray for them to keep seeking God’s transformation in their life.

John 8:7, 10-11 – Provide others grace.
7But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. 10Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.”

The one thing about offering someone grace is it opens for them to reflect on their own heart instead of to defend an accusation. The result from this brings freedom from bondage with a fruitful repentant heart.

Luke 23:34 – Be compassionate towards people.
34[Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”] They divided his garments by casting lots.

Compassion was the foundation for Jesus’ ability to forgive. This requires for us a connection to the Father, as Jesus did nothing without the will of the Father. Think of the relationships and broken places in your life, and pray to find compassion and for Jesus to meet you there.

1 Corinthians 13:3 – Serve as Jesus did.
3If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Jesus made our giving possible because He became our vine. If we remain in Him, we can bear fruit from Him to give to others with a servant heart. Because we have been served, we can now serve as Jesus did, and live the goodness of a Catholic man.

Bishop Joseph N. Perry: Our Men Need Our Compassion

Certainly, one of the great American plays that runs periodically on the stages of our cities’ theatres is: A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry.

In the play, the Youngers, an African-American family living in a rundown apartment in Chicago in the late 1950s, inherit $10,000 from their late father’s life insurance policy.  Lena, the family matriarch, wants to use the money as a down-payment on a small house in the suburbs.  This in itself raises some eyebrows in that suburb, in pre-open housing America, and a spokesman is sent to visit the Youngers to help them change their mind.

Daughter Beneatha sees the money as a chance to realize her dream of going to medical school.  But son, Walter Lee, who works as a chauffeur for a rich white business man, harbors dreams of opening his own business. Walter, a proud young man who has experienced one disappointing setback after another in trying to make a life for himself, persuades his mother to let him use the money to open a liquor store with his buddy.  He promises that he can give back to the family all the blessings their hard lives had denied them.

Against her better judgment, the mother agrees.  But, sure enough, the son’s partner and buddy skips town with the money.  The distraught son can hardly bring himself to tell his mother and sister what has happened. Beneatha launches into an angry tirade against her brother.  At one pinot in her angry denunciation, her mother admonishes,

“Beneatha, I thought I taught you to love your brother.”
 “Love him!” Beneatha says contemptuously.  “There’s nothing left to love!”
 Her mother stops her.

“There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothin.  Have you cried for that boy today?  I don’t mean for yourself and the family because we lost all that money. I mean for him: for what he’s been through and what it done to him. Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most: when they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain’t through learnin because that ain’t the time at all.  It’s when he’s at his lowest and can’t believe in himself ‘cause the world done whipped him so. When you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right.  Make sure you done take into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got where he is.”

Regardless of what evils and disappointments befall us, regardless of the messes we make of our lives and the lives of those we love, Lena Younger has it exactly right: There is always something left to love. And the worse things are, the more there is to love.  In Christ, God has assured us of his love, his acceptance, his understanding, his peace at all times – especially when times are the dreariest and the most hopeless God asks us who would be his holy people to be as ready as God is to lift up, to forgive, to support, to love every man.

+JNP 2013

 

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