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The question about fasting

 

Gospel reading: Lk 5:33-39

 

THE scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “The disciples of John 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.’ ”

 

REFLECTION: The old is good

Jesus quotes an adage. There is truth in it. People who are used to the old desire nothing else. They are settled with the taste of the old and familiar. It makes them feel good and does not threaten their well-being.

While there is wisdom in the saying, the reality is that new things emerge. In the case of the coming of Jesus, people are called to respond to his new teachings. His message settles much better with new hearts. The oldies dismiss his new ideas as just among the many floating around.

This is something new in Judaism: Jesus is sent by God to preach the Kingdom. To get the message right, people must follow him. The young be­liever can easily accommodate this.

God’s Word can thrive much better with young hearts and open minds. This is why Jesus says, “No one pours new wine into old wineskins.” We can­not get the message of Christ right if we are not attuned to the signs of the times. It is hard to change the world and spread God’s reign if we get stuck to our old theology and old interpretations, insisting that the old is better.

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Can we do better and be more youthful in the practice of our faith?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: pub­lishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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