September 2, 2016
The Gospel Today
Friday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers,
and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same;
but yours eat and drink.”
Jesus answered them, “Can you make the wedding guests fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
then they will fast in those days.”
And he also told them a parable.
“No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, ‘The old is good.’”
REFLECTION (Sem. Maximilian B. Estayo)
Old people tend to be sentimental of the things they have grown up with. In a sense, I am like that. I favor the music of my youth – softer and more lyrical than those in today’s radio playlist. I prefer piko and tumbang preso over the computer app games of today’s generation like the current craze Pokemon Go.
Still, some changes are good, like the fight against drugs and corruption promised by the new national president – although not everyone is open to such changes.
That seems to be the problem Jesus encountered with the scribes and Pharisees in today’s Gospel who were repulsed by the new culture he was introducing. Jesus is the new expression of faith and piety, the realization of the promise in the Old Testament. But the ‘old’ church people were stuck in the past – they could neither accept him nor his teachings.
Many times I am left dumbfounded by the many changes that happen in my life as a result of my aspiring for a priestly vocation. For one, this year I began my theological studies and was initially overwhelmed by the volume of texts I have to memorize. Also, being in the classroom with other seminarians who are on average half my age can be unnerving.
But why am I embracing these changes, although they come with a great price? I can choose to be sentimental and just retire back to the comfort of my old life. But I lose the chance to have the “new life” that Jesus has promised to those who follow him – one where I have communion with him and the Father, not just in the afterlife but here in the present. For this, I can say that the ‘new’ is also good.