Daily Reflection – 1/16/2023
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to him 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 wine skins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wine skins.” (Mark 2:18-22)
The two analogies in today’s Gospel have to do with the elasticity of our minds — the stretching of our intellect — the ability to see something in a new way. New concepts can only be received in an inviting and flexible mind. The concept of NOT fasting while with Jesus because of who he is — the Messiah, the Savior, the Christ, the source of all joy, is new — it was the unshrunken piece of cloth and the new wine.
Today we may not able to experience the joy of being in the actual, physical presence of Christ — a joy which superseded the requirement to fast. However, we DO have the opportunity to feel the joy of the risen Christ; but it requires us to make connections — to look for Jesus — to come to know him. It may require us to regenerate the elasticity of our own minds. To think anew.
The excitement of knowing Jesus today in our lives should be a primary experience for us each day.
We can know Jesus in our lives. We can be in his presence every day. We can be with Jesus as we work through our day. You and I know that but do we actualize it in our lives?
For many, it is not a reality. Not because they are unworthy or not important. It’s simply a case of not seeking him, not speaking with him, not looking for him. Not pausing long enough in our day to actualize him in our lives.
The constant in our spirituality is that the God of our youth is the same God. What we fail to internalize is that the same God appears to us in our day. It’s His reflection that changes. And his reflection is made up of our life at the moment.
What do I mean by that? God’s love is forever. Within that love is His comfort of us through the day, the week or the month. There are times when He appears to us to console. Others when he appears to us to strengthen. Others when he appears to caution us from an action or a word that can be harmful. Others when he seeks to fill us with his presence in our lives.
I so wish I could be with every reader of these reflections. To sit quietly with you and talk to you about His presence. To sit with you and converse with Christ. To have both of us filled with Him as we focus on Him.
He is there. Right now. As you read this. Yes, He is. I can feel His presence as we think about this scripture and our need to let our evolving lives reflect Him each day.
Are our minds open, as we age, to explore Christ anew? Or is it easier to remember the image of Christ taught to you when you were a child? If your faith life seems shallow, or if there is an emptiness when you pray, it may because you are not encountering Jesus in your life today. Just as every child in the same family has a different parent, so too with our faith. Our lives evolve and so does our understanding of and relationship with Jesus Christ. Each day he waits for us to meet him where we are at that moment. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Go to him as you are today – with your joys, your sorrows, your beauty and your warts. He knows. He cares. He waits to hear you because He loves you more than anyone could.
Where are you today?
Prayer of The Day
Thank you, Lord, for the new life you came to bring — your own divine life of grace inside me. To truly know you is to let my life experience you and to live that experience of love and joy. Help me to see that love. Help me to live that love.
Let each of us take a closer look at our relationship with Christ and to ask ourselves if it can be more intimate — if it can produce more joy for us in our lives. The risen bridegroom is in our midst and waits only for us to open our hearts and our minds to His daily presence.