First reading 1 Samuel 15:16-23

Saul disobeys the Lord and the Lord rejects him

Samuel said to Saul, ‘Stop! Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.’ Saul said, ‘Tell me.’ Samuel continued, ‘Small as you may be in your own eyes, are you not head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king over Israel. The Lord sent you on a mission and said to you, “Go, put these sinners, the Amalekites, under the ban and make war on them until they are exterminated.” Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you fall on the booty and do what is displeasing to the Lord?’ Saul replied to Samuel, ‘But I did obey the voice of the Lord. I went on the mission which the Lord gave me; I brought back Agag king of the Amalekites; I put the Amalekites under the ban. From the booty the people took the best sheep and oxen of what was under the ban to sacrifice them to the Lord your God in Gilgal.’ But Samuel replied:

‘Is the pleasure of the Lord in holocausts and sacrifices

or in obedience to the voice of the Lord?

Yes, obedience is better than sacrifice,

submissiveness better than the fat of rams.

Rebellion is a sin of sorcery,

presumption a crime of teraphim.

 

‘Since you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.’

 

Responsorial Psalm 49(50):8-9,16-17,21,23

I will show God’s salvation to the upright.

 

‘I find no fault with your sacrifices,

  your offerings are always before me.

I do not ask more bullocks from your farms,

  nor goats from among your herds.

 

I will show God’s salvation to the upright.

 

‘But how can you recite my commandments

  and take my covenant on your lips,

you who despise my law

  and throw my words to the winds,

 

I will show God’s salvation to the upright.

 

‘You do this, and should I keep silence?

  Do you think that I am like you?

A sacrifice of thanksgiving honours me

  and I will show God’s salvation to the upright.’

 

I will show God’s salvation to the upright.

 

Gospel Mark 2:18-22

 ‘Why do your disciples not fast?’

One day when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of fasting while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they could not think of fasting. But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; if he does, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine, fresh skins!’

 

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“They have no wine”

 

“…and the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine’”. Mary’s words to Jesus express the reality of our human experiences in life. We have experienced the day in which our wine ran out in one way or another. We have no more wine due to various life’s circumstances. For some, it is the day when a dear one passes away. For others, it is to live

through the disappointment of failing and while others struggle with depression and sickness. Therefore, these words of Mary becomes our personal cry to Jesus, “I have no wine”.

 

The first thing that Mary did was to go to Jesus. Jesus transformed the water into the best wine of all. When we go to Jesus, we are invited to trust that He is the only one who can change our sadness into joy, our disillusionment into hope, fear into courage, our emptiness into fullness. Jesus wants to transform our lives so that we can live life with an abundance of joy and the fullness of life.

 

Question for reflection:

Do I present my empty jar to Jesus and trust that He will fill it with the best wine of His love?

 

Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr. Sandra Seow FMVD.