January 18, 2021
Mk 2: 18-22
Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 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 unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Dreaming of a better future
One of the frequent ponderings in these first weeks of the new year, and as we look with hope toward a future beyond the pandemic, is “what will the new normal look like?” One answer from today’s Gospel is that we cannot put “new wine into old wineskins.” Jesus consistently invited his disciples to see and experience the world – and the reign of God – in new and unexpected ways.
It was often surprising and frequently challenging for the disciples to realize that Jesus’ invitation was to something larger than they could imagine. In the months ahead, will we revert to our former ways of thinking and acting or will we, like Pope Francis, dream of and create a path to a better future?
Our church and faith communities, our neighborhoods, cities and country, our wounded and wonderful world are aching for a better future. How will we respond? Will we simply sew a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak, or will we create a new and better garment for the world?
—Bill Hobbs is the Associate Director of the Jesuit Retreat Center in Parma, OH.
You call us from our settled ways, O God,
out of old habits and rutted traditions.
You call us into the land of promise,
to new life and new possibilities.
Make us strong to travel the road ahead.
Deliver us from false security and comfort,
desire for ease and uninvolved days.
Let your Word and Spirit dwell in us
that your will may be fulfilled in us
for the well-being and shalom of all.
—Mozarabic Prayer 700 C.E▲
THE POPE'S PRAYERS
The examen is a prayer popularized by St. Ignatius Loyola that helps us to recognize the ways that God is present and active in our daily lives. Click on one of the following recordings made by current and graduated Prep students to be guided through the examen and see how God has been present in your life today! If you use an i-phone, make sure your mute switch is turned off to listen to the recording.
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