Lk 5:33-39 That Should Take Care Of It
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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.” Jesus answered them, “Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days. No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one…No one pours new wine into old wineskins…”
We are good at patching up a problem. But we are not very good at avoiding a problem.
Over the centuries, we have built an artificial world that consists of long complicated and strenuous moments followed by brief, fleeting moments of happiness. We’ve made life very complicated. Our parents killed themselves with long hours at work with the hope that their children and grandchildren would one day have a better life. But it didn’t work out that way. And I don’t expect it to be any different for our grandchildren and great grandchildren either. Technology may have made life more efficient. Careers may have become more service oriented. But life hasn’t become less stressful.
Before their wedding day, the bride and groom worked exceptionally hard to get to that day. And after their wedding, they have to continue working exceptionally hard to live up to that day. Only on their wedding day do they ever get a chance to relax, enjoy and spend some time smelling the roses.
Most people have to work 50 weeks out of the year. Only a few get more than two weeks off for vacation. They work hard to have a vacation; they work hard after their vacation. The only time they ever get a chance to relax is during their vacation.
Kids don’t have it any easier. Contrary to popular belief, we work children to death. They have a ton of homework, a ton of things and a ton of activities. When they are young, they are expected to do nothing but grow up, work hard in school and get a scholarship to College. We prepare their resume by signing them up for a ton of extracurricular activities and hope that one will stick with them. Never before have so many kids taken piano lessons, ballet, dance and theatre lessons, sports lessons, art classes, tutoring, etc. And then we say…“Well, that should do it.” Far from it.
I’m afraid we are not teaching them life’s lessons. I’m afraid we are teaching them to stay busy.
We sell them the idea of a bright future. But we are not preparing them for the life they will experience. We build them up, up, up; but by the time they are thirty, they are already heading towards the gradual let down of career, life, marriage, family and health.
I’m not being pessimistic. That’s living in the past. But I refuse to be totally optimistic; that’s all in the future. What I prefer to be is honest. Honesty is the best policy. Honest means examining the past, honestly; analyzing the present, honestly; and predicting the future, honestly. It’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The past is rich. We should not have a disdain for it. The present can be confusing. Don’t believe all of it. The future, well, we can get a glimpse of it by those who lead into it.
Go to the hospital and you will see what I mean. Most people there never imagined being there. But what is shocking for me is how short a time it took for them to get there: sooner rather than later! Go to a nursing home and you will know what I mean. Most people there are shocked to have been left alone with a stranger feeding them and changing them. But go visit the families they left behind and you won’t be surprised. Take it from a good bookie; past results are a good starting point for future bets.
Our future will be similar to our past, especially if we do nothing about it. Do not be fooled by any politicians. Politicians are great magicians. They can make the future appear brighter than it really is.
When I was in school I was told that poverty and unemployment were due to overpopulation. At home, I was told that it was due to bad decisions - personal and corporate - like corruption, greed, immorality, addictions, etc... I was not told this in school because it was off the agenda.
I was told in school that if we lowered the birthrate, we would lower unemployment and end poverty. Spain has had one of the lowest birth rates in industrial world for the past thirty years. But it continues to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the industrial world. The same goes for Italy. The same goes for the United States. On the other hand, China has one of the largest populations in the world and it is increasingly becoming wealthier and mightier. We tend to blame unemployment on illegal immigrants. But most illegal immigrants fill up empty holes. Of course the jobs should have gone to the 10 million “surplus” American-made babies but they were aborted roughly during the same time period that illegal immigration became rampant. The dead can’t fill a job. They can only fill a hole in the ground.
Tearing a new piece and patching something old. In his speech a few days ago at the Democratic National Convention, Bill Clinton said, “Listen to me now… No president, no president – not me, not any of my predecessors – no one could have fully repaired all the damage that he [Obama] found in just four years.”
The damage he found??? What damage did the President find that needed fixing? Marriage? Did marriage need fixing? Did it need fixing from him?
Does the President consider America’s vision “damaged” when it supports and respects life, all life, including the life of the unborn? Why does he believe that in order to respect a woman’s right, you have to destroy another? Is this his way of “fixing” the problem?
This president hasn’t repaired the damage he found. He has created more of it and has separated what was never meant to be broken!
And this is all coming from Bill Clinton; who sent a few missiles to attack America’s number one terrorist, Osama, in an attempt to distract Americans from his number one terrorist, Monica.
There is nothing new in taking the old and tearing it apart. Or better yet, to take some new “idea” and try to patch it, stick it, shove it, throw it, and smudge it into something beautiful.
There, that should last…for another four years.