Monday, January 18, 2016

Reflection: Mark 2:18-22

Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time – Mark 2:18-22

The Gospel for today focuses on fasting.  Mark tells us that the disciples of John and the Pharisees typically fasted.  Several individuals approached Jesus and said to him, “Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast but your disciples do not fast?”  Jesus did not directly answer their question but rather posed a question to them:  “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?”  Jesus went on to say, “The day will come when the bridegroom will be taken away and then it will be time for the disciples to fast.”

Jesus then used metaphors to make his point.  He told the people, “No one sews new material onto an old piece of cloth.  The new material will pull away from the old cloth.”  Jesus then gives his listeners another example.  He says, “No one puts new wine into old wineskins.”  New wine requires a container that has elasticity.  If you pour new wine into an old wineskin, the skin will burst and the wine will be lost.  Thus, new wine needs to be poured into fresh wineskins. 

Jesus was clear that his message and teaching was very different from the teaching of the Pharisees.  Imagine the reactions of the people who were listening to him!  Some of them must have been shocked by his teaching.  Yet, were other people excited by the “new” message he was preaching? 
Jesus may appear in such a way that we do not recognize him.  He may appear as a person you do not know, an individual in need, or someone who comes to your aid.  Jesus’ message and presence is new every single day.  Be alert!  Be awake!  Jesus is coming!  I pray that today and every day you and I will recognize him when He appears to us.

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