Friday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

The image of the new wine and the new cloak help us understand the difference between grace and the law.  It is tempting to to oppose the two and say that the goal of grace and the goal of the law are two completely different things.  Jesus speaks to this temptation when He says that not one iota of the law will pass away until all things are fulfilled.  The more insidious temptation however is to attempt to return to the law after beginning the life of grace.  Baptism is the new garment we’ve been given – we shouldn’t use baptism as a patch that simply covers the hole in the cloak of the old man and the old law.  Very concretely this means that we will rip and shred our lives apart at the core of our soul if we try to use the grace of Christ to give some appearance of perfection to others, to ourselves, or to God.  Grace is not given to us so that we can simply do a better job of obeying the ten commandments – Grace is not a patch for our moral life.  The grace of Christ is given to us so that we become intimately involved with the persons of the Trinity.  Whoever insists that the major goal of Christianity and criteria to judge Christian life has to do with righteousness and moral purity is nothing more than a modern pharisee.  They rip and shred themselves and others to pieces because Jesus becomes simply an enforcer of the Old Law instead of the Savior and giver of a New Law. read more