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Faith Daily | 2 July 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 556


O God,

who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son

to suffer death upon a cross,

and by his glorious resurrection

delivered us from the power of the enemy:

grant us so to die daily to sin

that we may evermore live with him

in the joy of his resurrection;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen




GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 9: 14-17


14Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” 15And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. 17Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”


GOSPEL REFLECTION: Rev’d Sandra


From ancient times, Jews had practiced fasting as a means of exhibiting sorrows for sin and thereby averting divine judgement (see 2 Sam. 12.16-23). And apparently John the Baptist practiced fasting and taught his disciples to do the same thing (11.18). It also seems probably that Pharisees and other pious people also fasted for Israel (*see Luke 2.37; 18.12).


When questioned by John the Baptist’s disciples about his non-participation in this ritual Jesus responds with a little parable: “Can the wedding guests mourn when the bridegroom is with them?” which indicates that the presence of Jesus brings a totally new situation.


The presence of Jesus brings in the dawning of the kingdom (5.3-12) and his presence banishes sadness, just as it brings forgiveness for sin and stills the storm. It appears to me that this saying of Jesus looks beyond the crucifixion and resurrection to the time of the church when the presence of Jesus, affirmed in faith can sometimes also be obscured by the cloud of unknowing and by limitedness of faith.


He explains that to continue old religious practices is like patching an old garment with a piece of unshrunk cloth and everyone knows that a worse tear will be made by this action. Or, it would be like putting new wine into old wine skins. The skins will inevitably burst and the new wine spilled and the skins destroyed. Old garments and hardened wine skins are the restrictive forms of previous worship practices and Jesus is pointing to a new way.


Jesus came to fulfil the Law and the Prophets rather than to destroy them.


FINAL PRAYER

Faithful God,

help me to always delight in you.

Thank you for keeping me in perfect peace.

Thank you for your faithfulness.

Remind me of your faithfulness to me.

Remind me of those moments when your hand was clearly present in my life.

I praise you for your presence and I put my trust in you,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

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