Saturday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr (c. 3rd century-+304) Patron of Lisbon
Letter to the Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14; Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9; Mark 3:20-21
In today’s Gospel narrative, the disciples of John the Baptist and the Pharisees are upset with the disciples of Jesus because they do not fast. Fasting is one of the three most important religious duties that we observe; the other two are prayer and almsgiving. Fasting is traditionally a part of Jewish observance and as a means to subdue the flesh, humble oneself and implore God’s mercy. Fasting is done for the sake of conversion and penance.
Our Lord Jesus isn’t talking to us about sewing a cloak, but about the transformation of our lives and inviting us into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Him. Listeners in Jesus’ time would have understood all about animal skins and how to work with them. They would have known that patching a piece of new cloth onto an old cloak wouldn’t work because the new one would age differently and pull away from the cloak.
Our “cloaks” are our lives, and we are often ashamed of their shabbiness. We are embarrassed by our flaws and what we hide from others, such as fears, jealousies, and our lack of forgiveness or judgmental attitudes. In our own individual way, we tend to pull our cloaks tighter and try to show the best side, but the fabric of our lives reveals the rips and tears we don’t want to reveal to others.
Friends, our Lord Jesus is telling us that we don’t have to put on airs or pretend to be something or someone we are not, and we don’t have to hide the tattered cloak from Him. He doesn’t want us to patch it with something that doesn’t fit, to fill the emptiness with the things our culture tells us will make us whole. Instead, He loves us right there in our “threadbare” self.
Today, we are invited to put down the ill-fitting patches we think we need to cover our lives and to accept the warm embrace of God’s cloak of love, wrapping itself around us, covering our most vulnerable moments reminding us that we are loved.
Suggestion of the Day: Please read Exodus 34:28 and Luke 4:1.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, lead us by Your example of holiness. Direct our steps and fulfill Your plans in our lives. Let our feet run swiftly to follow You. Amen.