READINGS for 2021-09-03

Didache | Companion | Sabbath

“The disciples of John fast frequently. . . but your disciples eat and drink.” – Luke 5:33, GNB

A young man told his girlfriend, “You look like a goddess.”

The girl asked, “Really? Who? Venus or Aphrodite?”

“No,” the boy replied, “you look like Buddha.”

What’s the difference between a diet and religious fasting? Both involve refraining from eating, but there’s a huge difference. Dieting is about your body and health. Fasting is about your soul. The goal of dieting is for you to look great. Fasting, on the contrary, helps you become closer to God.

The crucial question is, “Can you mix fasting with dieting?”

The answer is yes!

We can stick to days when we can have a healthy and enjoyable diet, then add days of fasting. During a fast, we can use the time for meals to pray and commune with God instead.

Remember, dieting creates a stronger body and fasting creates a stronger soul. When we do this, we create a balanced diet. Arun Gogna (


What is your attitude when you deny yourself of something?

When I look at the blessing of food in front of me, I thank You, Lord, who provided all this for me. Amen.

St. Gregory the Great, pope and Doctor of the Church, pray for us.


First Reading | Colossians 1:15-20

Jesus is the beginning and end of all good things. The Book of Revelation says He is the Alpha and the Omega. This means we are called to focus on Jesus. He is the Way by which we understand the events of our lives. Through Him, we will attain the fullness of our existence when we are eventually united with God in heaven.

15 Brothers and sisters: Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the Body, the Church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the Blood of his cross through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Responsorial Psalm | Psalm 100:1-2, 3, 4, 5

R: Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

1 Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; 2 serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song. (R) 3 Know that the Lord is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. (R) 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; give thanks to him; bless his name. (R) 5 For he is good, the Lord, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations. (R)

Gospel | Luke 5:33-39

Wine drinkers never mix two different bottles of wine. Mixing soft drinks can sometimes enhance the taste of the drink. With wines, however, doing this spells disaster for the taste of the wine. Jesus teaches us in today’s Gospel that the old ways of doing things may have to give way to new methods. In our faith, the old way of understanding are replaced by new ones that can explain better the mysteries of God.

Gospel Acclamation

I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.

33 The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same; but yours eat and drink.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.” 36 And he also told them a parable. “No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Otherwise, he will tear the new and the piece from it will not match the old cloak. 37 Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined. 38 Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins. 39 And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”

Are you pouring new wine into old wineskins?

Read the Bible in one year! Read ISAIAH 64 - 66 today.



What It Takes

When I was a young brother in practical training, an old couple lived near the barangay chapel where I did catechetical and other ministries every Monday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. They dutifully and charitably served me snacks every week. And while I was sincerely grateful, emaciated as we all young religious were at the time, I definitely felt I could use fresher fare. At the time, expiry dates for food like bread baked and sold in little bakeries around were not yet in vogue. So Monday in and Monday out, I was being served something that was definitely way past its time. The bread was, to say the least, stale, taken from a rusty old biscuit tin can as repository.

I am reminded of the Lord’s saying “new wine for new wineskins.” The sender must be on the same wavelength as the receiver; new ideas must match the capacity of the recipient to process and assimilate.

The old couple’s house was well-furnished. They had a refrigerator, but the old way of storing bread was to use a tin can. That may well explain why it tasted moldy and stale all the time. Honestly, it was no big deal for me. Beggars can’t be choosers. I was grateful for the weekly treat for the only money in my pocket was fare money to get back home. As a recipient of kind deeds, I was neither in any way choosy nor feel entitled to it. Whether the bread was new or old did not bother a hungry and appreciative recipient.

The same may not be said of the Pharisees who were the interlocutors of the Lord in this passage from Luke. The news about the Kingdom was both good and new. But the mentality of the Pharisees remained old and fossilized.

In truth, we could all be like them, unable to accept something that does not fit the mold of our expectation. The Kingdom of God was what the Lord was talking about all the time. Its ultimate law and solid foundation was the commandment of love. But they missed the forest for a few trees. And all it takes was an open mind. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

reflection questions

Do you maintain an open mind when it comes to Your relationship with God and other people? Do You allow God to surprise you?

Dearest God, may I learn to live with an open mind and heart where it matters most. Amen.

Today, I pray for: __________________________________

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