Arulvakku

03.09.10 OLD AND NEW

Posted under Reflections on September 2nd, 2010 by

And they said to him, "The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same; but yours eat and drink." Jesus answered them, "Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days." And he also told them a parable. "No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Otherwise, he will tear the new and the piece from it will not match the old cloak. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins. (And) no one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, 'The old is good.'" (Lk5:33-39)

 

 

Religious practices or pious activities are often compared. Comparing is always to prove which one or who is better than the other. Jesus did not enter into this game. He did not compare to find out whose disciples were better than the rest. He entered into the discussion as to why or when should one fast. Wedding celebration was not the time to fast or to discuss about fasting.  Presence of the bridegroom is a sign of celebration and not the time to fast.

 

Not only comparing but also patching up the old and the new would not also produce the desired effect. Patching up old with the new will only make the situation worse. It would destroy one or the other. Similarly the new wine poured in the old wine skins would destroy the wine skins and the wine would be wasted.

 

Jesus has come into the world with new. His preaching and working should not be compared or patched up with the past. Jesus in no way spokes ill of the old (old is good) but he would want the new to be accepted given its merit it deserves. The kingdom that he speaks of is not for comparison or to be patched up with the old. It has its own strength. 

02.09.10 FISHERS OF MEN

Posted under Reflections on September 1st, 2010 by

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God,…

Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat…

 After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch." Simon said in reply, "Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets." When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing…

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man." For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him. (Lk 5:1-11)

 

 

It is interesting to note that the crowd was pressing in on Jesus to listen to the word of God. The crowd was not only after miracles and favours they were also after the word of God. Jesus also responded to them according to their wishes. People are after God and Godly things and the people expect that this be fulfilled in their time and space.

 

Jesus was not a fisherman. But he spoke with authority to Peter and Peter could not refuse him. Jesus was already having influence on the people and he was doing mighty works among the people. Certainly Peter would have heard about it and he could have even witnessed some of the mighty deeds. So when Jesus asked him to cast the net he could not refuse but obey.

 

Personal experience of the divine presence in the events compelled Peter and his friends to throw the nets and boats away and follow Jesus. The presence of the divine made them feel afraid of Jesus. But the assurance encouraged them to go on ahead. They had to give up working for material gain (fishing) and in stead work for human welfare (fishers of men). 

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