The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one patches and old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9: 14-17)
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I want to spend these next few minutes in your company reflecting on your Gospel so that I might know and love you more. I am a sinner in need of your grace. Please do not take into account my unworthiness, but rather look at my desire to love and serve you. You are the true source of fulfillment and happiness in my life. Help me to seek you and your will with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. Enlighten my mind to know your divine will for me, inflame my heart to love it with passion, strengthen my will to fulfill it with perfection. Reveal yourself to my soul.
Petition: Lord, help me to make you and only you the center of my life
1. The bridegroom The disciples of John the Baptist, like the Pharisees, followed the strict Jewish fasting regulations. When they come to ask Jesus why his disciples do not fast, Jesus does not condemn their fasting but rather he makes it clear that the center of attention must be the bridegroom, the person of Jesus Christ, not the legality of the law. Christ must be the center of our lives. He is the one for whom we fast. He is the one who brings joy to our lives.
2. The new cloth Jesus uses examples well known to the people. New wool cloth shrinks so it would be absurd to use it as a patch on an old cloak. Old wine skins are weak and the new fermenting wine will tear them. The Gospel that Jesus has come to bring replaces the old cloth of the old law. The new law of the Gospel is not simply a patch on the old Jewish law. The two cannot go together. Rather the new law must be accepted in its entirety as replacing the old law.
3. Am I trying to patch things? Do I try to put patches on my old self, hoping that I will not have to change completely? If I only accept part of the faith, it will only tear away at my old self until any grace I might have had will all be lost. I must live my life one hundred percent for Christ and in Christ. Christ must be the one focus of my life.
Dialogue with Christ: Lord, I do not want to be a mediocre Christian. I do not want to be half-hearted in my faith. Give me the grace to accept your doctrine wholeheartedly in all of its strength and newness. I do not want to simply put patches on my life. I want to get rid of the old person and put on my new self completely dedicated to you. Help me always to keep you as the center of my life referring all of my acts to you, never taking them as an end in themselves.
Resolution: I will keep Christ as the central criteria for my life accepting him one hundred percent.