January 18th, 2021

Monday the Second Week of Ordinary Time               January 18th, 2021

The Gospel according to Mark (2:18-22)

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to Jesus and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But 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 unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined.
Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”

Opening Prayer: Lord, I come to you in these moments seeking to know your ways. Quiet my heart. Bring my focus onto you, the Bridegroom who loves your Church and her people. Open my heart and soul to receive your love in this time with you.

Encountering Christ: Today we live in a world that people call the “New Normal”. We live in a world where opposing opinions are quite strong and sometimes violent. We live in a world where we can’t socialize, or get close, or hug. We live in a world when we pass by a stranger, it’s impossible to give a smile because we are wearing a mask. Us humans have to learn to adapt, we have to be able to accept change. Change happens to us all the time. Some of it we accept without notice and the other we have a hard time adapting to. Say for example, smart phones. Many of us objected to the use of these phones but eventually we had to give in and accept them because we were forced to use them due to the type of technology that is out there … change. Another example is the use of computers, and I’m referring to those who really didn’t know how to use a computer but because of this pandemic, those folks I’m referring to now watch live-streamed masses or they ZOOM to see their families … change.

I have to accept change because I am getting older (old wineskins) but I have to accept the new wineskins that comes with change and with life. I have to be able to “let go” so I can encounter something new. When, I think of old cloaks it reminds me of those old t-shirts that I love to wear because they are soft, and they just feel good. These shirts I have had for years so they have holes or stains and some even have patches of sort. But then it comes to my dismay when I am cleaning the house (such as polishing the furniture), and I find that I am cleaning with one of MY FAVORITE SHIRTS! (I wonder who grabbed my shirt … HMM??). At any rate I have to accept the change and learn to adapt in my own way.

The Lord calls us to accept the newness in our faith. He wants us to keep our eyes, ears and heart open and be aware of the new wineskins that surround us. He wants us to all stay together as one family so we can embrace the love of one another. He created us in the image and the likeness of himself so we too can become the co-creator while we unfold His Divine plan.

As we open our hearts to this joyful reality, we are slowly transformed into new beings, radiating his love and beauty. Our willingness to be transformed (change) is essential. In this passage, Jesus calls us to joyful celebration in his presence. He is calling us to be open to radical transformation so that we can receive him and, with his grace, reflect his love to others. 

No one said it was going to be easy, but I guarantee you that it will be fulfilling.

Closing Prayer: Lord, I offer you everything I do today, as once again you renew your sacrifice in the Eucharist. Please unite me to your Sacred Heart and convict me of the joyful reality that you love me. I know that apart from you, I can do nothing. Let your love transform me so that, with your grace, I can become the person you created me to be. 

Closing Prayer: My Lord, talk plainly to me. Please send me your peace, give me the consolation of your presence, and strengthen me to persevere when I run into trouble.

Action for the Day: Identify the change in your life over the past few months. Are you driving to work different? Are you more compassionate or not? Are you praying different? What else?

             “The CHANGING of the Weather”                                                    Sedona, AZ.

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