Friday, September 05, 2008

Measure for Measure

Today's first reading (1 Corinthians, still!) and Gospel both hint at the skewed criteria we can use in the matters of God. St. Paul knew what it was to be "weighed on the scales and found wanting." He complains of being judged "ahead of time" and by merely external criteria. Jesus, too, was judged on external criteria, and found not to measure up to the standards set by John the Baptist and the Pharisees, whose disciples were noted for their ascetical practices (whereas Jesus and his disciples could just as easily be found at a dinner party). There's nothing wrong with asceticism, of course, but Jesus tells us that it needs to come in a "new wineskin" of awareness that "the bridegroom has been taken away" for a while, and that we await the "new wine" of his definitive coming.

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