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1 Samuel 15:16-23
Psalm 50:8-9, 16BC-17, 21 & 23
Mark 2:18-22
The first two readings have a common theme: the Lord’s rejection of sacrificial
offerings in favor of obedience, praise and discipline. In the Gospel reading Je-
sus explains that his disciples do not fast now as they are with the bridegroom
(Jesus himself) but they will fast soon enough when he is gone. He has new
wine which requires new wineskins; the Last Supper wine will become his blood,
the symbol of the new and everlasting covenant. In completing the cycle, we re-
ceive Jesus at Eucharist with the bread and wine.
Jesus’ words and behavior were new and radical. He was a one-man Occupy
the Temple movement when he chased out the money lenders. He did not want
greed and profit in his Father’s house.
Jesus admonished hypocrites conspicuous in
ritual prayer and fasting, moaning martyrs
who desired the praise of men, not God. Je-
sus was disgusted by false piety. He chal-
lenged the comfortable to feel uncomfortable
and the uncomfortable to feel loved.
The old wine skins could not hold Jesus’ new
wine: Mercy -100%
proof. He sought out the
despised (tax collectors and prostitutes), the
sick, even lepers, the possessed, the poor
and marginalized. He performed miracles
and spoke in parables, preaching God’s
mercy, love, forgiveness, healing, hope and
the promise of everlasting life to all.