FRIDAY, TWENTY SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great
Col 1: 15-20; Ps 100: 1-5; Lk 5: 33-39
IN CHRIST, THERE IS NEWNESS OF LIFE
Today in the Gospel, Jesus questions the Pharisees “can you make wedding guests fast when the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them and then they will fast in those days”. Jesus reveals himself as our beloved, by calling himself our bridegroom. Thus, he is the one for whom we should long, the one with whom we should seek to be united with. We are reminded that we are already in his presence, the bridegroom, who is the kingdom of God. Is this not more than any other religious practice like fasting?
How invaluable are prayer and fasting, if they do not lead us to be in the presence of God? Fasting should lead us to hunger for Christ, not for physical food and the prayer of heart should reach to union with God and not merely be only on our lips. Mere religious acts may not lead us to God, but the grace of Jesus through the holy spirit, that will change our traditional life to lead us into a new life, that is the union with God.
Luke presents two more beautiful parables: the parable of the wineskins, and the parable of the garment. Through these two parables, Jesus is leading us to live a changed life, to experience a new way of life and to leave the traditional life. St Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, tells us “do not be drunk by the wine rather be drunk by the holy spirit”. Our lives are transformed and made new by the holy spirit through baptism. We are born anew in the Spirit as we die to sin, and are raised through baptism by Jesus Christ.
We are called today to throw out our oldness, and take up the new wine way of living with the help of the Holy Spirit. Since life cannot be a mixture of opposite principles, May the spirit’s new way completely replace our old worldly way so that we can walk in freshness of life and be strengthened in scripture and prayer, to live in the presence of the Bridegroom.
Response: Come before the Lord, singing for joy.
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