1ST SAMUEL 15: 16 – 23
In those days: Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me this night.” And he said to him, “Say on.” And Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. And the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed. ’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop on the spoil, and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.”
The Word of the Lord
Psalm 50: 8 – 9, 16bc – 17, 21, 23 (R.) 23bc
R/. To one whose way is blameless, I will show the salvation of God
“I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices;
your offerings are always before me.
I do not take more bullocks from your farms,
nor goats from among your herds.” R/.
“How can you recite my commandments,
and take my covenant on your lips,
you who despise correction,
and cast my words behind you.” R/.
“You do this, and should I keep silence?
Do you think that I am like you?
I accuse you, lay the charge before you.
A sacrifice of praise gives me honour,
and to one whose way is blameless,
I will show the salvation of God.” R/.
Hebrews 4: 12.
The word of the Lord is living and active, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
MARK 2: 18 – 22
At that time: John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom is with them, they cannot fast. The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins ; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
REFLECTION: Making All Things New
January 17, 2022
No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. (Mark 2:21)
We’ve all heard this analogy from Jesus before. It’s one of those statements that we can easily hear and then dismiss without comprehending. Do you understand what it means?
This analogy is followed by the analogy of pouring new wine into old wineskins. Jesus states that no one does this because it will burst the old wineskins. Therefore, new wine is poured into new wineskins.
Both of these analogies speak to the same spiritual truth. They reveal that if we wish to receive His new and transforming Gospel message, we must first become new creations. Our old lives of sin cannot contain the new gift of grace. Therefore, in order to fully receive the message of Jesus, we must first become created anew.
Recall the Scripture: “To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away” (Mark 4:25). This teaches a similar message. When we are filled with the newness of grace, we are graced all the more.
What is that “new wine” and “new patch” that Jesus desires to give you? If you are willing to let your life be made new, you will discover that more will be poured upon you as you receive more. Abundance will be given when abundance has already been received. It’s as if someone won the lotto and decided to give it all away to the wealthiest person he can find. This is how grace works. But the good news is that God desires that all of us become spiritually rich in abundance.
Reflect, today, upon this teaching of Jesus. Know that He wants to pour an abundance of grace into your life if you are willing to let yourself be first created anew.
My Lord of all generosity, I desire to be made anew. I desire to live a new life in grace so that even more grace can be lavished upon me through Your sacred words. Help me, dear Lord, to embrace the life of abundance that You have in store for me. Jesus, I trust in You.