July 4, 2019
by Cindy Costanzo
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 382

Amos 9:11-15
Psalm 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14
Matthew 9:14-17

Praying Ordinary Time

For those in the U.S. celebrating Independence Day today.

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Praying in Times of Crisis

“Neither is new wine put into old wineskins, otherwise the skins burst, and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed;  but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” Matthew 9

Today’s reading applies appropriately to our current times probably just as it applied hundreds of years ago. Change is hard, it is uncomfortable and it is challenging. In fact, when I look back at the times I had to change it always came first with denial and a lack of self-awareness. This was followed by defensiveness, a refusal and rationalization for not changing. At this point I always had a choice. I could ‘dig in,’ become hardened, defensive, self-righteous, and even bitter – OR – open up, display my vulnerability, soften my heart, and welcome the uncomfortable into my life.

In a book called Sacred Space – The Prayer book for 2020 (pg 241) the commentary for the July 4th reading  Matthew 9: 14-17  complements my reflection on change. “So many opportunities are lost because we, as individuals and as communities, are not ready to leave behind what is no longer valid and useful, and instead we look for painless change. In doing so, we lose both the wine and the wineskins.”

Today’s reading and message clearly guide me to discover what is useless, step into the uncomfortable, enter into new conversations, soften my heart and welcome change.

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