When he is questioned by the scribes and pharisees why his own disciples do not fast and pray as theirs, Jesus claims the title of Bridegroom (covenant) and that the guests do not fast and pray while the groom is with them.
He also uses parable to respond and says that it is not helpful to tear a piece from a new cloak to repair an old one. Nor is new wine poured into old skins, because the new wine would burst them. Rather, new wineskins are necessary for new wine.
Jesus also indicates that the old covenant is good, but it must now yield and find its fulfillment in him and the new and eternal covenant which he accomplishes in his own body.
Just as the old covenant ‘gave way’ to Jesus and found fulfillment in him, so must all worldly ways yield to Christ. St. Paul said it slightly differently when he said: “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
Jesus knew his followers would experience resistance in and from this world, and thus he tells us: “I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
Jesus is the Bridegroom in our midst. May he continue to bring about a freshness – a newness in each of us, that we may live humbly in the world as his servants, further ushering in his Kingdom!
I invite you to watch today’s Mass and listen to the homily. The Gospel proclamation begins just at minute 11:00.