1 Samuel 15:16-23

16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the LORD said to me this night.” And he said to him, “Say on.”
17 And Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel.
18 And the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop on the spoil, and do what was evil in the sight of the LORD?”
20 And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, I have gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.” 22 And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has also rejected you from being king.”

18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
20 The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. 
21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made.
22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins.”  


THE FIRST READING: Samuel severely  castigate Saul for being dishonest, by not fully complying with the instructions of the Lord. Saul allowed the king of the Amalekites to go free and captured the best livestock which he hoped to use as sacrificial offerings to God, which would have been a sacriligious act! Saul committed a deliberate act of rebeliousness when he second-guessed God’s wishes and instructions, which Samuel refers to as a form of divination. These egregious trespasses caused Saul to loose his office as the peoples king! 

THE GOSPEL READING: Some followers of Christ are puzzled that the Pharisees and John the baptists followers were obeying the fast, whereas Jesus’ Apostles were not complying with the law. Jesus’ cleared up the apparent ‘rebelliousness’ of the Apostles by alluding to His; death, ressurection and Ascension, whereupon the Apostles vis-a-vis -the bride of Christ- will fast for fourty days, that shall see the inauguration of the Church and the end of the fast!

New wineskins refers to a New Covenant and the “new wine” refer to the blood of Christ (Mt 26:27-29; Acts 20:28) whereby we are -hypostatically united to the second person of the blessed Trinity, when we receive the consecrated substances in the Holy Eucharistic Feast! To be sure, we may only partake in the wedding feast-The Holy Eucharist; if indeed we were not rebelious nor iniquitous, but disciplined; in a state of grace and in union with Christ and His Church! 

LET US PRAY: Psalms 50:8-9,16-17,21,23

8 I do not reprove you for your sacrifices; your burnt offerings are continually before me.9 I will accept no bull from your house, nor he-goat from your folds.
16 But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to recite my statutes, or take my covenant on your lips?
17 For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you. 21 These things you have done and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you. 23 He who brings thanksgiving as his sacrifice honors me; to him who orders his way aright I will show the salvation of God!”

Author. Henry R SYLVESTER 
Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.

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