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Mark 2:18-22

The Word of God

Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to Jesus, "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."

Mark 2:18-22
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • In both images Jesus is saying that he and his teaching and the Way he is proposing cannot be judged by the old, traditional standards. Jesus has brought about a radical shift in the ways we are to relate to God and to each other.
    • The Way of Jesus is quite different. It is primarily interior rather than just exterior. It is ultimately rooted in relationships based on love, a love that always seeks the well-being of the other. If we judge what Jesus does by the old ways, we will have difficulties. We need, as Paul says, “to have the mind of Christ”.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • We have seen that Jesus has already broken through a number of long-established boundaries. There is an atmosphere of liberty around him and his disciples like it. Here is another sign of the presence of the ‘kingdom of God’--Jesus is revealing that God wants everyone to be free, happy, joyous. He is effectively saying, ‘It’s party time!’
    • I chat with Jesus as a friend would do. I dimly grasp that in Jesus something radically new is lighting up a dark world, and it’s so attractive. The irruption of the divine into a human heart is life-changing. I don’t want to be an old cloak or a tired wineskin any more, so I ask him to free me from my fears so that I may live my life in joy because of the extravagant Good News given to me.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • At this point in Mark’s Gospel Jesus is emerging as a significant religious figure, but with tension rising between him and the Jewish authorities. Why is he not keeping the fasts that all good-living Jews observe? His critics fail to grasp that his coming among them is different. Hosea and Isaiah use the metaphor of a wedding in connection with the coming of the Messiah. Jesus sees himself as the bridegroom at God’s wedding feast. It’s a time for joyful celebration rather than sadness or fasting.
    • At the Last Supper Jesus promised, “I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22).
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Why is Jesus not keeping the fasts that all good-living Jews observe? His critics fail to see that his coming among them is different. The prophets Hosea and Isaiah use the metaphor of a wedding in connection with the coming of the Messiah. Jesus sees himself as the bridegroom at God’s wedding-feast, a time for joy not mourning.
    • Here we have another instance of mounting tension with the Jewish authorities. “The days will come” when he is taken away and condemned to death, “then they will fast.”
    • St Paul (2Cor 11:2) used the marriage relationship to describe the joyful relationship between Christ and the Church. At the Last Supper Jesus promised, “I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John16:22).
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Nobody puts wine, old or new, into skins these days. But if Jesus had said, /You don't try to run Windows XP on an old 486/, what point would you think he was making? He could not install his message of love and justice into the stiff mind-set of the Pharisees, who gave all their energies to following the tiniest points of the law.
    • Lord, may I be a new cloak, a fresh wine-skin, a heart ready to hear your message.
    • Jesus is the bridegroom. He hints at his future death when he says that the bridegroom will be taken away. When he speaks of old and new cloth and old and new wine, Jesus is referring to old and new forms of religious practice: the old ways of the scribes and Pharisees with their many 'traditions' which they patched onto the Mosaic Law, and which Jesus condemned, and the new 'wine' of Jesus' teaching poured out on his disciples.
    • Sometimes I prefer to cling to old traditions rather than face the challenges presented by Jesus.  
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

    Active
    Default
    • Nobody puts wine, old or new, into skins these days. But if Jesus had said, /You don't try to run Windows XP on an old 486/, what point would you think he was making? He could not install his message of love and justice into the stiff mind-set of the Pharisees, who gave all their energies to following the tiniest points of the law.
    • Lord, may I be a new cloak, a fresh wine-skin, a heart ready to hear your message.
    • Jesus is the bridegroom. He hints at his future death when he says that the bridegroom will be taken away. When he speaks of old and new cloth and old and new wine, Jesus is referring to old and new forms of religious practice: the old ways of the scribes and Pharisees with their many 'traditions' which they patched onto the Mosaic Law, and which Jesus condemned, and the new 'wine' of Jesus' teaching poured out on his disciples.
    • Sometimes I prefer to cling to old traditions rather than face the challenges presented by Jesus.  
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

    Active
    Default
    • Nobody puts wine, old or new, into skins these days. But if Jesus had said, /You don't try to run Windows XP on an old 486/, what point would you think he was making? He could not install his message of love and justice into the stiff mind-set of the Pharisees, who gave all their energies to following the tiniest points of the law.
    • Lord, may I be a new cloak, a fresh wine-skin, a heart ready to hear your message.
    • Jesus is the bridegroom. He hints at his future death when he says that the bridegroom will be taken away. When he speaks of old and new cloth and old and new wine, Jesus is referring to old and new forms of religious practice: the old ways of the scribes and Pharisees with their many 'traditions' which they patched onto the Mosaic Law, and which Jesus condemned, and the new 'wine' of Jesus' teaching poured out on his disciples.
    • Sometimes I prefer to cling to old traditions rather than face the challenges presented by Jesus.