Monday, January 16, 2012

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."~Martin Luther King Jr

Gospel text (Mk 2,18-22):
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast.
People came to Jesus and objected,
"Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast,
but your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus answered them,
"Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.
But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast on that day.
No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak.
If he does, its fullness pulls away,
the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins,
and both the wine and the skins are ruined.
Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins."

Our lives are sometimes pictured as a fabric. This fabric consists of family, marriage, children, friends, work, finances, social life, habits, entertainment, service, etc. When we give our lives to Jesus and take our faith seriously, He sews into our lives "a patch of unshrunken cloth" (Mk 2:21). As this patch shrinks, it stretches all the other parts of the fabric of our lives.

The people in today's Gospel reading thought it was time to fast, although it was time to feast. They had the right idea but the wrong time. Fasting can be used as preparation; it strengthens prayer and contemplation. But that was not the message that Jesus focused on in today’s teaching. He reminds us all that they have to receive his message with a new spirit, one that breaks with conformity and the routines of jaded souls; Jesus proposes something entirely different, not another version of the Law, but a new life altogether.

If we decide to be clothed with Christ (Gal 3:27; Rm 13:14; Eph 4:24; Col 3:10), we are then clothed with humility (1 Pt 5:5), power (Lk 24:49), mercy, kindness, meekness, and patience (Col 3:12). Let the patch of Jesus that covers one tear in your life become your entire life.

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