READINGS for 2007-07-07
THE NEW HEART
People do not put new wine into old wineskins... – Matthew 9:17
Psalm 135:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
G O S P E L
14 Then the disciples of John approached him and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. 17 People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Sirach 26-30
A FAITH EVER ANCIENT, EVER NEWJesus’ use of analogies to get his message across seems to work very well for his hearers. They indeed understand that religious practices (foremost among which is fasting, as we have it in our Gospel passage today) have their value only insofar as they nourish the person in his or her relationship with God. In fact, if we are not careful, we can be fossilized in our practices of piety, and we in turn become victims of a merely external spirituality, bereft of depth and quality.
Instead, the Good News brings us liberation and newness. “New wine into new wineskins” was how Jesus put it. Practical as He was, He knew that if this norm was kept, the result is something mutually beneficial to both the beverage and the container.
True, there is a value also in old traditions and practices, but even these have to be experienced constantly anew, viewed from new perspectives and with fresh new eyes. And it is even possible that such traditions and practices be modified (if not altogether removed), when they become no longer effective or helpful in the living of our Faith.
Just as analogies or metaphors can be helpful in explaining otherwise lofty topics, so also should religious traditions and practices be when it comes to nourishing our Faith — a Faith which is, after all, “ever ancient, ever new.” Fr. Martin M.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Is your faith ever ancient yet ever new?
Lord, refresh me daily with Your word. Your example of following the Law of Love alone make me new.
St. Ampelius, bishop, pray for us.
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