Then they said to him, “John’s disciples, like the disciples of the Pharisees, frequently fast and pray, but your disciples eat and drink. Jesus said to them, “You cannot make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”
He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and sews it on an old garment; otherwise the new will be torn, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, ‘The old is good.’”
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.
A friend of mine once told me he admired me.
I was taken aback. “Why? Can’t you find better role models?”
“You’re care-free.” He said. “You really don’t care what people think of you. You don’t know how liberating that can be.”
I never thought of it that way, but he was right. I’m not really concerned what people think of me (at least, that’s what I tell myself). I want to be kind, generous, and patient with everyone I encounter. I don’t care how that appears to others—they may say I’m weak; they might say I’m naïve or gullible. What others think doesn’t matter.
But I do care how I appear to God. The most fundamental question I ask myself is if I am acting with mercy and compassion. If I am, I give thanks to God. If not, I ask God for forgiveness and guidance on how I should act.
—Bob Burnham, OFS, a Secular Franciscan and spiritual director, writes and edits for Loyola Press in Chicago.
O Spirit of God, we ask you to help orient
all our actions by your inspirations,
carry them on by your gracious assistance,
that every prayer and work of ours
may always begin from you
and through you be happily ended.
—A Jesuit prayer before meetings, inHearts on Fire: Praying with Jesuits, ed. Michael Harter, S.J. (Chicago: Loyola Press, 2004).