January 18, 2021
by Cindy Murphy McMahon
Creighton University's Office of Marketing and Communications
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 311
Praying Ordinary Time

People, especially religious leaders, liked to question Jesus. He just made things too darn simple, too different from their legalistic proscriptions. It drove them crazy. They wanted answers, but mostly they wanted to trip him up.

How are we like them? How often do we not seek the truth behind something or someone we disagree with? Instead we just want to put them down, expose them to ridicule or feel superior.

The question is put to him, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Maybe those asking hoped this would be one of those times Jesus would give a simple, direct answer like, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what belongs to God.”

Instead, they receive parables about practical everyday experiences they could immediately understand. Just to make sure they get his point, Jesus in this case gives three examples:

1) Now is not the time for my disciples to fast. I am with them and it is a time for us to celebrate.

2) There is something new happening here. Don’t try to make my mission – my message of God‘s love alive in a new way  – fit into “old cloth.” It won’t work. It’s not supposed to work. Open your hearts to something new, and let it move you.

3) Don’t expect my ministry, my life, my mission to strictly conform to ancient practices. If that is required, both the old and the new ways will be damaged. Instead, be open to the gift God is offering you and allow God's love to be poured into you.

Today, we pray for the grace to experience that love, that gift, in our hearts, and to share it with others.

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