January 21, 2013

The Gospel Today

Memorial of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr

Mk 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.”

Reflection (Sem. Philip Faustino S. Volante)

“No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined.”

There was an occasion where in I had to buy a red shirt for our Valentines party, so I went to a mall to look for a good red shirt. As I was scouting the mall, I started to get annoyed because I can’t find a shirt that I like, until I found this red shirt that suited my taste. I then asked the saleslady if they have a size for me, “medium”. The saleslady left and returned telling me that the shirt in the rack was their last piece; it was a “small”. Since I really want the shirt and frustration was starting to creep up on me, I tried the shirt on, and found out that I look like a wrapped “lumpia!” But because I really needed the shirt badly, I still bought it and used it for the party. During the party, I can hardly breathe because the shirt was hugging me very tight. I can’t even move from one place to another for the shirt might rip off if I move. The red shirt is now in my cabinet, and I can’t use it because I have grown from a “medium” to a “large”. So I am planning to give it to someone who needs it.

Just like the red shirt, Jesus is telling us that each one of us has a spirituality that fits us. We should not force other people to embrace or wear our spirituality if their spirituality already fits them. It is sad to hear stories of people changing their religion to another, but we should also consider and pray for them that this new religion that they are into would lead them closer to God.  Once we force our own belief on someone who believes otherwise, they may feel uncomfortable and unable to breathe. Just like our vocation in the seminary, we are not asked by our parents or by anyone else to enter the seminary, it is our own free will that we want to become priests.

We are given by God many options in following Him; it’s up to us to choose the better path that will lead us to Him. Choosing our own spirituality is not like chess where there is a “touch move”. We are given the opportunity to try all of them, but we must make sure that we choose the best so that we can always praise Him with all our hearts and minds.

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