Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/
If I refuse to breath, the air doesn’t punish me by suffocating me. I do that myself by refusing to breathe. If I beat my fist against a brick wall, the wall doesn’t punish me by making me bleed and ache. I do that myself by violating the natural, established order of things. This may help us see that—in a very real sense – sin and punishment are two sides of the same coin. Choose one and we choose the other as well.
Can I recall a time when I brought pain upon myself – and upon others – by refusing to do what was right?
We cannot break God’s laws – but we can break ourselves against them. –A. Maude Royden
—Excerpted from Mission, by Fr. Mark Link, S.J. ©2000 RCL Enterprises, Inc., Allen TX.For more prayer resources from Fr. Link, please visit www.staygreat.com
Lord, with profound gratitude we thank you for God’s laws that ensure forgiveness and a chance to start again. For whether we experience triumph or disaster, your faithfulness is ever present moment by moment in our journey. And one divine law that gives us most hope is the promise that absolutely nothing can separate us from you. In our darkest times, we cling to that truth – whether we feel it or not.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team