When You're Feeling Stuck
Gospel Reflection for January 16, 2023
“The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to him and objected, ‘Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.’” (Mark 2:18-22 NABRE)
Have you ever felt trapped by certain things going on in your life? Or like you’re stuck in the same old routines and schedule? Sometimes it can be easy to feel like a hamster running on a wheel, doing the same things day in and day out, while feeling like you’re not going anywhere.
Perhaps you’ve felt this way with your work, school, health, responsibilities, relationships, or maybe even in your spiritual life.
The disciples were in a similar situation before Jesus came into their life. They worked their jobs, fulfilled their everyday responsibilities, and strived to follow the Law of Moses.
And then Jesus came… and changed everything.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus explains to His disciples that He has come to start something new. He has come to teach us about the Kingdom of God and to gain entry into that Kingdom for us.
Whereas the Pharisees and John’s disciples fasted because they were waiting and praying for the Messiah, Jesus’ disciples did not fast because the long-awaited Savior was with them. Their lack of fasting testified to the presence of the Messiah in their midst.
Sometimes we take on the attitude of the Pharisees, who fasted, or mourned, even though the Bridegroom was right in their presence. We get so caught up in our lives, that we forget Jesus is with us as we take every step. Even in the most monotonous moments.
So, whenever you feel trapped in your same old routines, remember to offer up your sufferings with joy, knowing that Jesus, your loving Savior, is right in your midst. He’s there to lift you up.