January 15, 2018

Jan. 15

January 15, 2018:  Monday, 2nd week, Ordinary Time

For Psalm 50
    New wine, fresh skins!
  • 1 Sm 15:16-23  Samuel/Saul:  “The Lord sent you to exterminate the sinful Amalekites.  Why have you disobeyed?  You pounced on the spoil.” / “I obeyed, destroying Amalek, but my men took from the spoil for sacrifice.” / “Obedience is better than sacrifice.  Because you rejected God's command, he has rejected you as ruler.”
  • Ps 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21, 23  "To the upright I will show the saving power of God."  Why profess my covenant with your mouth but hate discipline?  I'll correct you.  Offer praise as your sacrifice; I'll save those who go the right way.
  • Mk 2:18-22  “Why do John's and the Pharisees' disciples fast but yours don't?” / “Wedding guests can't fast while the groom is with them, but they will when he's taken away.  No one pours new wine into old skins lest both be ruined.  New wine, fresh skins!”
  • Creighton:  Jesus' new ways differ from John the Baptist's and the Pharisees'.  How will his way change our expectations and actions?  What am I called to reconsider?
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Under the ban":  Prophet Samuel ordered King Saul to put the Amalekites "under the ban" (=kill them all).  We no longer consider genocide a solution, but we should put sin "under the ban," fighting (as a doctor) till we "get it all," till we've exterminated it.  Receive the Spirit, who fights against sin, the flesh, and the devil; let the Spirit take control.  Put under the ban your old lifestyle (flesh, wineskin); let Jesus make all things new.
  • Passionist:  Jesus didn't come merely to bring a new teaching or new image of God; he was a witness to a new moment, and his actions enfleshed a new experience of God’s love, a new truth about God and about us; he witnessed to new ways to live within God’s embrace.  Such new truth goes beyond old frameworks, attitudes, actions, and rituals, beyond our "comfort zone," to "new wineskins."  A challenge from a partner or colleague may help us move to a new understanding and a new way of acting, but we have to be vigilant lest we slip back into old ways.  Jesus challenges us to be renewed/converted, to open our hearts, listen, to be ready to receive and respond to what he offers us.  May we listen for the word of God to us each day and move beyond old responses and familiar behaviors to embrace the new.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.
    In the US, Pope Francis spoke about him twice.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Fasting or feasting?"  Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving were the three most important religious duties.  Jesus explained there was a time for fasting and a time for celebrating.  To follow Jesus is to experience a joy like the wedding party's.  But there also comes a time when we must bear the cross.  Do I take joy in the Lord's presence and express sorrow and contrition for my sin?  Using the familiar image of wineskins, Jesus warns against having a closed mind.  New wine poured into skins is still fermenting.  New skins were elastic enough to take the pressure, but old skins burst.  There's a right place for the old and for the new.  Jesus says the kingdom is like a householder who brings out both the new and the old.  The Lord gives us wisdom so we can make the best use of both the old and the new. He wants us to be open and ready to receive the new wine of the Spirit."
No picture today, so you missed this:
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  From the spoil the men took sheep...  (1st reading)
  • 'Ram'/'animal sacrifice' tie pin:  Saul's spoils; obedience is better than sacrifice, submission than the fat of rams (1st reading)
  • 'Fire' pin:  "Does the Lord so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obedience? (1st reading); "Your burnt offerings are before me always" (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  I'll correct you by drawing your deeds before your eyes (psalm)
  • 'Fruit' pin:  New wine, fresh skins!  (gospel)
  • Green T-shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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