Prayer: O Holy Spirit, make me a new creation.
Imagination: (Imagine Jesus with the disciples and the Pharisees.)
Jesus uses two images of cloth and wineskins to show that his Kingdom demands a totally new way of acting and thinking. Nobody sews new cloth on old garments or pours new wine into old wineskins.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees came to ask, “Why do we fast but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered, “How can the guests at a wedding banquet fast when the bridegroom is still with them?” As long as he is there, they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them. Then, they will fast.
No one sews a piece of new cloth on an old garment because the new will pull away from the old, and the tear will get worse.
No one puts new wine into old wineskins. The wine will burst the skins and the wine will spill and the wineskins will be ruined. New wine must be put into new skins.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- Jesus does not allow his disciples to fast. His Kingdom is new and contains greater blessings.
- He reveals an astonishing mystery. He is the bridegroom, the presence of God in their midst.
- The Bridegroom’s presence precludes all fasting at his wedding.
- Both images (new cloth and new wine) carry the same message. Jesus is God’s new presence and the former response to God is inadequate. Jesus’ Kingdom bursts these limited ideas.
- To be faithful to the Bridegroom, the disciples must seek the new wine of the Holy Spirit.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, my faith is too small to receive you.
- You are such a gift. Why do I not rejoice always?
- You are the bridegroom, God in our midst. To you is all honor and glory.
- When you are present, I rejoice. Sorrow is cast out. Joy abounds.
- I will find new cloth, greater faith that can hold your blessings.
- Jesus, pour out the new wine of your Spirit.
Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will ask, “What must I do to receive Jesus’ gifts.”
- I will make Jesus my bridegroom. He wants to have everything.
- I will ask for greater faith so I gain every gift of God.
Thought: (Recall this text during the day)
How can the guests fast, when the bridegroom is still with them?