YEAR B: HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 22ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: PRUDENCE
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Lk. 5:33-39) Friday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus’s disciples were questioned why they were not fasting as was customary and as exemplified by the disciples of John. Jesus answered that fasting is not done while the bridegroom is with them. Jesus presented Himself as the Messiah. Since He is with the disciples, everything is well. When He goes, then they will fast. It is bright when the sun is up. Darkness comes when it has set. Two analogies followed. New cloth on a tear of an old one and new wine in old wineskin. Both have the same message which is PRUDENCE.
Jesus stressed not stressing new converts or baby Christians with difficult teachings or practices like fasting and sacrifices. Eventually, they will be formed and experienced. Otherwise, they might not endure the pains and challenges and give up. The expected positive result might become disastrous. Thus, never should a new cloth be made to patch a tear on an old cloth. When the new cloth shrinks, it will worsen the tear. Also, new wine in old wineskin is bad. When new wine ages it expands and will burst open the old wineskin.
Jesus gradually introduced Himself to the Jews. He knew that although His teachings were, in essence the same as what His Father had given to Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, and Moses, it will come across as something new to them. A lot had changed and been added to the original commandments. Jesus was patient with the Jews, their elders, and religious leaders. His words and deeds slowly unfolded His true person. It was traumatic for the religious leaders who were so rigid and closed their minds to Jesus' revelation. For them, their tear worsened and their wineskins exploded. For most of the disciples, they endured and were able to adjust to the "new" teachings of Jesus.
Prudence is an important virtue. It takes into great consideration the situation and the person. Patience is its great partner. Together, they produce good and holy men and women. Jesus was a master of both.