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January 17, 2022

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DG BookGospel: Mark 2:18-22
One day, when the Pharisees and the disciples of John the Baptist were fasting, some people asked Jesus, “Why
is it that both the Pharisees and the disciples of John fast, but yours do not?” Jesus answered, “How 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 day will come, when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast. No one sews a piece of new cloth
on an old coat, because the new patch will shrink and tear away from the old cloth, making a worse tear. And no one puts new wine
into old wine skins, for the wine would burst the skins, and then both the wine and the skins would be lost. But new wine, new skins!”

 

Reflection:

 

As the saying goes, the good can be the enemy of the
best. It applies to our spiritual intentions as well. Mystics often
warn us to be on guard against devil presenting itself as an
angel of light, offering us good inspirations which seem to lead
us in God’s ways, but actually take us away from God. When
Saul captured the best of oxen and sheep from the Amalekites,
it was with the noble intention of sacrificing them to the Lord
in thanksgiving. But as Samuel points out to him, obedience
is far greater and nobler than sacrifice. The Gospel resonates
with similar insight too: Neither fasting nor feasting has any
merit of its own; they carry relevance only in reference to
God. If one’s austerities serve to take one away from God and
one’s neighbor, they endanger the soul. Lord, give us this day
our daily bread of discernment of Your Will.

 

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