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 http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
(A couple’s perspective)
This is a great gospel passage for the beginning of not only the new Church year but also the calendar year! We all want to have new wineskins in which to pour the wine of 2014—God willing, it’s all good things. But given what we know of life, difficult experiences are all part of the ‘new’, too.
Is this what Jesus is saying to us all? Yes, in part. But I think Jesus is also trying to comfort us by saying that if we reverence each new experience, it will become part of us and shape us; literally, it will give us new skin. I believe this gospel invites us to live in the now, as fully as we are able. I will try to remember that I am creating “new skin” during these long days of parenting young children and being a good friend to my husband.
— Carrie Nantais
Last year brought several new blessings to my life—a new baby, a new employee, a new course to teach and new friendships. It is too easy in my busy life to under-appreciate just how amazing all of these new blessings are to me. I feel invited to savor these and all of the blessings I receive in 2014. Instead of gobbling them up like a frozen dinner before an appointment, I want to chew on them, taste their succulence and enjoy!
I hope that through reflection and appreciation that the sense of grace from these blessings will settle more deeply in my heart and allow me to live in them, love them, and be ever more grateful for them.
What circumstance or event in your life is ‘new skin’? How might Jesus be calling to you to embrace this experience?
— David Nantais ( Carrie and David live in the city of Detroit with their two sons, Liam (almost 4 years) and Theo (5 ½ months). They are both at the University of Detroit Mercy—David as Director of University Ministry and Carrie as a PhD student in Clinical Psychology. They have been married for 5 ½ years.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that is made by passing through some stages of instability—and that it may take a very long time.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete….
Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give Our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ (excerpted from Hearts on Fire)Please share the Good Word with your friends!