Friday, September 4, 2015

When you are through changing, you are through.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ― Mother Teresa: (1910 – 1997: Founded the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata)

Gospel Text: (Lk 5:33-39)
The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers,
and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same;
but yours eat and drink.”
Jesus answered them, “Can you make the wedding guests fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
then they will fast in those days.”
And he also told them a parable.
“No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, ‘The old is good.’”

The “good old” Scribes and Pharisees:  today’s Gospel continues the saga of their confronting Jesus with legalistic formalism…and so little heart!  “Your disciples don’t fast and pray…yours eat and drink.”  Detailed regulations rather than helping a neighbor in distress…or even rejoicing with the Bridegroom.
Jesus met this issue head on and wanted to show that Love is the essence of religion, that regulations are valid only if God’s purposes are served.  Jesus asked more of his disciples:  to follow his example, and love God with one’s whole being, and to love one’s neighbor as He did — a much more demanding life response than a fasting from food and drink!  A new cloak…a new batch of wine…
As contemporary disciples, we are invited to think “outside the box”. Pope Francis is inviting us to see life differently.  The Spirit is alive in our midst!  The Church is a community of believers!  Our liturgical prayer invites and requires our full and active participation!  Our Baptism calls everyone to a life-long discipleship / involvement in the Church, fulfilling their particular vocation!  Our faith life is more than what you do (or don’t) eat or drink.  A new cloak…a new batch of wine…

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