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The need for continuing adaptation

When Christ said, “No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse,” (Mk 2,21) we are somehow reminded that in our life there is always need for continuing adaptation due to the changing situations, circumstances and conditions we are bound to encounter.

He reiterated this point when he said, “Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.” (Mk 2,22)

We cannot overemphasize this need to adapt. And we just have to learn how to deal with it, considering that it will demand of us a lot of sacrifices. Perhaps that’s one reason Christ told us that if we want to follow him, we need to deny ourselves and carry the cross. (cfr. Mt 16,24)

This aspect of an authentic Christian life should be taught as early as possible to everyone. While it’s true that each one is somehow defined by his own peculiar personality, temperament and character, we need to realize that as persons we are meant to relate with each other and, thus, need to learn to properly adapt with everyone and with everything.

But given the temper of the times that somehow foster self-indulgence, there’s a strong trend for people to become self-absorbed and isolated in spite of the apparent stream of communication due to our new technologies.

Yes, there can be an appearance of vibrant social intercommunication among ourselves, but it cannot be denied that strong and divisive biases and prejudices are also being developed.

Obviously, while we need to have some kind of inventory of how each one of us is, going through our strengths and weaknesses, we have to realize that the art of continuing adaptation can ultimately be achieved if we identify ourselves more and more with Christ, the master of adaptation.

Imagine how he adapted himself to us! As God, he became man just to identify himself with us. In his preaching, he used human and natural devices to impart spiritual and supernatural lessons. To reach out to sinners, he made himself like sin without committing sin. Ultimately, he forgives us of all our sins by offering his life on the cross.

Definitely, we cannot simply rely on our human means to adapt, even if we have to make full use of them. Not even some comprehensive philosophies or ideologies, heavily propped by the sophisticated modern sciences and technologies, can hack it.

Their ways and means can only go so far. They cannot last long. They cannot bear doing the same things over and over again everyday, because they cannot see further than what is on hand at the moment, or even what is simply of worldly value. They are highly perishable items, with very short prescription period and brief effectiveness.

It’s the grace of God that does it. It’s when we are driven with love for God and for others that we can manage to escape the grip of routine and drudgery that can easily come to us if we happen to be doing the same things everyday. And for most of us, we happen to be doing the same things everyday. It’s God’s grace and love that can transcend the limitations of any earthly interest.

This is the ultimate adaptation—that’s when we poise ourselves to take a leap to the supernatural order of God who wants us to share his life and nature, divinizing ourselves as we ought since we are God’s image and likeness!*

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