July 4, 2020

Mt 9: 14-17

Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. 

Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

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.

Celebrating Jesus’s Kingdom

I’m intrigued by talk of the “new normal” we’re entering. Lately, it has brought to my mind an ancient legend of the “seven sleepers.” In short, seven Christians escape Roman persecution by hiding in a cave, only to reemerge (after a centuries-long nap) into a bizarre new world: Christendom! Imagine the mix of emotions felt by the waking Christians, rubbing their eyes to a society turned on its head. No longer persecuted, they encounter a culture seemingly ruled by Christ himself. Is it all they hoped for?  Regardless, their old ways of seclusion no longer suit the new reality.

Leaving the caves of our own quarantine, some now face a similar shock, perhaps not so positive. Nevertheless, today’s Gospel paints change in festive colors. Change is a banquet. Change is new wine. Change is new clothing. The first-century world of Jesus was far from safe and secure; there’s no need to romanticize it. Yet, the Kingdom crashes into this scene like a jolt of electricity. Amidst societal chaos, Jesus and his disciples celebrate! 

Lord, no matter the days ahead or the precautions we must take, clothe us in festiveness and thanksgiving for the Kingdom’s sake.

Jarvis Williams is wrapping up his year of service at Cristo Rey Jesuit in Houston as a part of the Volunteer Service Corps.

Prayer

Lead, Kindly Light, amidst the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!  

—St. John Henry Newman


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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July 4, 2020

Mt 9: 14-17

Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. 

Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

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.

Celebrating Jesus’s Kingdom

I’m intrigued by talk of the “new normal” we’re entering. Lately, it has brought to my mind an ancient legend of the “seven sleepers.” In short, seven Christians escape Roman persecution by hiding in a cave, only to reemerge (after a centuries-long nap) into a bizarre new world: Christendom! Imagine the mix of emotions felt by the waking Christians, rubbing their eyes to a society turned on its head. No longer persecuted, they encounter a culture seemingly ruled by Christ himself. Is it all they hoped for?  Regardless, their old ways of seclusion no longer suit the new reality.

Leaving the caves of our own quarantine, some now face a similar shock, perhaps not so positive. Nevertheless, today’s Gospel paints change in festive colors. Change is a banquet. Change is new wine. Change is new clothing. The first-century world of Jesus was far from safe and secure; there’s no need to romanticize it. Yet, the Kingdom crashes into this scene like a jolt of electricity. Amidst societal chaos, Jesus and his disciples celebrate! 

Lord, no matter the days ahead or the precautions we must take, clothe us in festiveness and thanksgiving for the Kingdom’s sake.

Jarvis Williams is wrapping up his year of service at Cristo Rey Jesuit in Houston as a part of the Volunteer Service Corps.

Prayer

Lead, Kindly Light, amidst the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou
Shouldst lead me on;
I loved to choose and see my path; but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!  

—St. John Henry Newman


Please share the Good Word with your friends!