Daily Office Readings for Friday after the First Sunday of Lent: Year 2
“Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, ‘Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” (Mark 2:18)
I can still remember my parents asking me if my friends went and jumped off a cliff, would I do it too? Peer pressure and new fads and even old traditions sometimes should be called into question. Because “it has always been done that way” doesn’t mean it should always be done that way. Everybody does something a certain way and it becomes expected that all must do it the same way. This moves into the food we eat, the clothes we ware, and all other social trends we are peered into.
There is something to be said for “dare to be different.” This is especially true if one has set down and really thought about habits and practices. In our Episcopal Church, Holy Communion was a once or twice a month practice before the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. After that, and ever since, every Sunday is considered the Feast Day of our Lord. Wasn’t it always?
In this Gospel reading, Levi (Matthew) is invited to “follow” Jesus. He did. He quit what he had always done to do the Lord’s work. When opportunity knocks…
Enough cannot be said about pondering over decisions before acting. Let us again review Pascal Blaise who said, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” I would say then, that after pondering over a practice (or anything), all activities around the practice may also have to be changed as well. My ponderings and daily exercise program requires me to rise early in the morning. Therefore I have had to adjust my sleep habits in order to accommodate this schedule. In this same Gospel reading for today our Lord Jesus says, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” (Mark 2:22) My new wine of blogging and working out would not work in the old wineskin of going to bed at 10 or 11 pm.
When we sit in a room alone and ponder, we often come up with new ways of looking at life. When we do, we modify our practices (if we are smart), not according to what everybody else is doing, but what really works best for us. This applies to all positive possibilities of life.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John