2nd Week in Ord. Time, Tuesday – 18th January 2022 — Gospel: Mark 2,23-28
Eyes Fixed on Kingship
As often happens in the Gospels, Jesus was challenged by the Pharisees because he didn’t observe the Sabbath as demanded by the law. In today’s Gospel, his response had a special twist. Instead of encouraging the Pharisees to be more humble or have more faith, Jesus compared himself to David. Because David made an exception to the law for himself and his companions by virtue of his kingship. This comparison was shocking to the Pharisees. Nevertheless, Jesus recalled this event deliberately. He wanted to reveal to the Pharisees and his disciples that he is far greater than David. Jesus became the Eucharistic fulfillment, of which David was only meant to point to as a prophet. David was a preparation for the Jesus the true king, who would surpass him infinitely in power and authority. Thus, Jesus was using this occasion to reveal his Kingship, to reveal his authority, and to reveal himself also as Lord of the Sabbath.
2nd Week of Ordinary Time, Monday – 17th January 2022 — Gospel: Mark 2,18-22
Requirements for Radical renewal
The followers of John fasted in the spirit of humility and hope. They awaited the Messiah, the One whom John had promised. Those who were baptized by John had the hope that they would see God’s kingdom. Though they shared the fast in common, their reasons were personal. Fasting was a prophetic sign that God’s kingdom would soon arrive. However, the Pharisees fasted as a way to keep the Law in letter and in spirit. As leaders in the community, their fast was deliberately public. They demonstrated their piety as a way to inspire others to return to God and keep the law. By keeping the spirit of the Law always before them, they were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. Jesus responded with three analogies that occurred in daily life, all of which had overtones of the coming kingdom. The kingdom of God, now present in Jesus, is inaugurated like a joyful wedding banquet. The marriage feast is a time for wearing special clothing and drinking fresh wine. And so the new clothing and new wineskins are metaphors for the radical renewal required of a person to live under God’s reign. Jesus, the groom, has come to transform God’s people with the wedding feast of God’s love. The new clothing represented baptismal garment and the new wine of the new life in Christ.