Friday, September 6, 2013
“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
“Saints, even if there are only a few of them, change the world” - Pope Benedict XVI
Gospel Text: (LK 5:33-39)
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.”
And he also told them a parable.
“No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, ‘The old is good.’
How should we understand Jesus' reference to wineskins?
Jesus uses this image to teach us about the new covenant that he inaugurates. Through spiritual blindness, the "wineskins" of the Old Covenant had been rendered incapable of receiving the Good News of salvation. A total transformation was necessary. Jesus transmits his New Covenant of grace through the mediation of the Church, the new wineskin.
"The Church is both the means and the goal of God's plan: prefigured in creation, prepared for in the Old Covenant, founded by the words and actions of Jesus Christ, fulfilled by his redeeming cross and his Resurrection" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 778).
Without proper care, our souls, too, can become like old, thin wineskins, weakened by sin and spiritual sloth. Maintaining the suppleness of our souls - their capacity to hear, receive, and act upon the Word of God - requires vigilance and care. But the Lord is always at hand, offering us his grace through the sacraments to repair what is broken, strengthen what is weak, and fortify what is healthy.
The goal of our lives is to be so transformed into Jesus Christ that, as Saint Paul says, “It is no longer I who live but Christ Who lives in me,”(Gal 2:20) so that we will be able to live the life of Christ, or even better, to say that the life of Christ will be lived in us and through us, and that we will bring Jesus Christ into the world by the way we live, by the way we speak, by everything that we do. That is what the Christian life is about. That is the “new wine”. He is the new wineskin. And we recognize indeed that it is better than the “old wine”.
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 5:59 AM