Monday, January 19, 2009


Today's Gospel has a number of images in it: the wedding guests (before, during and after the groom is present), wineskins (old and new) and clothing (with or without patches). Through all these images, Jesus is emphasizing that he and his message cannot be evaluated on the basis of past models like the prophets of old or even the very recent John the Baptist. This is something new, something incredibly and qualitiatively different that can only be recognized and received whole and entire.
This Gospel reminds me of the experience of some of the saints, like St Francis of Assisi, St Ignatius Loyola or St Teresa of Avila. The saints could not be satisfied with patching an old cloak or re-using wineskins that would have been fine for the same old same old. They made such a profound response to God, and expressed that response in ways that were so radical, so much more intense than what people had come to see as "normal" that these saints were themselves thought to be suspect in their orthodoxy! (St. Paul had said that "the spiritual person can be judged by no one": who would have the criteria by which to judge lives guided by the Holy Spirit?)
I'm praying for that kind of vision of the centrality of Jesus in my own life: isn't that what he is asking for in using the image of the Bridegroom?

1 comment:

Fred said...

I, too am praying for such vision...for you, myself and my community as we work toward joining the two USA provinces. The Holy Spirit has lots of work to do. May God bless you and give you peace.
Father Fred, cmf