Daily Reflection
August 3rd, 2006

Chas Kestermeier, S.J.

English Department
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Jeremiah 18:1-6
Psalm 146:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6ab
Matthew 13:47-53

What does Jesus mean when he implies that we should be like the "head of a household who knows how to bring forth from his storeroom both the new and the old"? Even though he is talking to his disciples and speaks of any "scribe" who is learned in the kingdom of heaven, it is to us that he addresses this word.

We are (or should at least wish to be) those disciples, those who seek to become expert in the ways of the Lord, and we try to be faithful to what he said in bringing forth all that we have learned and stored up.

Yet Jesus described himself and His Spirit as new wine. To be satisfied to simply know what has been taught is to claim that we have reached an end of the Spirit's work within us, that we can and should only wish to bring forth the old to nourish and sustain the people of God --- and ourselves.

Our experience of life, though, is moving forward, adapting, and growing, just as the young Jesus did after he returned to Nazareth with his parents. And as he did, so we need to grow not only in age but in grace and wisdom, and that means something new.

The point is that we are not faithful if we do not work to make God --- Father, Son, and Spirit --- live today, keeping their word and life refreshed in our understanding and application by prayer, thought, sharing, and putting their gifts to use.

Only if we bear the old in our hearts and ponder it as Mary did can we cooperate with the Spirit as it tries to become incarnate in our hearts and in our world, and only if we are thus faithful to the old can we bring forth the new that is God's living and active presence.

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