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The good news for the day January 16, 2017

Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time (311)

Followers of John and those who followed Phariseeism used to practice fasting. Some people came to Jesus complaining, “Why do followers of John and followers of the Pharisees practice fasting, when your followers don’t?” Jesus’s answered them: “Can guests at a wedding reception fast while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom among them, they cannot fast. The time will come when the bridegroom is taken away; then—that day—they will fast. Nobody sews a piece of brand-new cloth onto an old piece of clothing. If that happens, its freshness pulls frayed threads away—the new from the old—and the worn part gets even worse. Equally—nobody pours new wine into old flasks—otherwise, the wine will burst the leather, and both the wine and the containers get ruined. No, new wine gets poured into fresh wineskins. (Mark 2)

Consider the big picture—old disciplines, traditions, and practices—where do they fit into your New Life—a new-born follower of Jesus? Do you keep the Sabbath, fast, avoid pork, and do ritual washings—and other rules of the Hebrew Scriptures? Do you keep some—but not others? Do you become a “smorgasbord” (pick-and-choose) Christian—or something else?

Jesus the poet uses homely images—the Bridegroom’s presence, repairing a shirt, and a vintner’s wisdom about how to best keep newly made wine.

You are a child of God, a cherished part of the community—the company that is the Body of Christ—called to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. You have a freedom and duty—as a Child of God—to make up your mind—independent of pressure—from society, or other religions or traditions. You practice what the “realm of what is right” calls for—it may be fasting—or it may not be. Your “Sabbath” may differ from others. You are called to obey God, not conform to external traditions; it is your task to use your mind, heart, soul & strength to obey that Spirit. You are a Child of God, the Creator. You lead, your courage ready to suffer. You create, like Dr. Martin Luther King, a morality that breaks old rules

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