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Faith Daily | 17 January 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 528


Almighty God,

by whose grace alone we are accepted

and called to your service:

strengthen us by your Holy Spirit

and make us worthy of our calling;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.


GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 2: 18-22

18Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.


21“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Mary Rose


The more they learned of Jesus’ teaching the more religious leaders had become concerned and throughout Chapters 2 and 3 of Mark’s gospel they confront and question him. One commentator said ‘although they were trying to discredit Jesus, we can still be thankful for their questions because in his responses we gain an insight into who Jesus is and what he came to achieve.’ When asked a question Jesus often replies with a parable; here in this short passage he gives them three!


In Jesus’ time fasting was a common practice among devout religious groups so they ask Jesus why he and his followers do not fast. The first parable talks of a wedding feast. No one fasts while the bridegroom is with them. Jesus clearly speaks of himself as the bridegroom and his disciples as the wedding guests. While he is with them it’s a time of joy. The pharisees may also have seen it as Jesus subtly referring to the Old Testament where God is the groom or husband of his people thus Jesus is claiming he is God, the long-awaited bridegroom coming for his bride!


The following two parables speak of new realities. He uses two well known images to show that with his coming the old forms and traditions needed to be replaced by something which is new and better, a new covenant.


In the first parable, however, in verse 20, Jesus makes a shocking remark - that the bridegroom will be taken away and then fasting will take place – no one takes away the bridegroom from his feast! This is a foretelling of his death so that he could fulfill all he came to do.


FINAL PRAYER: David Adam “Glimpses of Glory”


Grant, O gracious God,

that we not only hear your word,

but understand it and receive it into our hearts;

that we not only receive it,

but reveal it in our lives

by living up to our calling

and to your praise and glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

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