READINGS for 2008-07-05

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” – Matthew 9:17
They said you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. No wonder there are people who are highly resistant to change. Some of us have little tolerance when it comes to extending our boundaries when…
… the company goes under new management.
… we move in with the in-laws.
… we try to break an addictive behavior.
… we move to another city.
During the time of Jesus, goatskins were used to hold wine. As the fresh grape juice is fermented, the wine would expand, and the new wineskin would stretch. But a used skin, already stretched, would break open, and the wine uselessly flows out.
The Good News is, Jesus, like new wine, pours Himself into us, and creates new life and new beginnings. When He told Philip, “Come, follow me,” Jesus was pouring new wine into His would-be disciple: a life that is fulfilled, exciting and vastly different from what Philip has gone accustomed to.
His wineskin just got bigger. Red Cerrer
Do we welcome change in our lives?
Lord, fill our life with Your presence.


Amos foretells both a time of great chastisement and suffering for the people, as well as a subsequent restoring to their previous splendor. The question is, how do we properly interpret these prophecies today? I think we need to look at them in terms of their more immediate relevance—exile and return. But we also need to look at the larger picture, so to speak. That is, the time of great suffering could refer to the reign of sin in the world and the eventual reign of God as the promise of eternal life.           
Amos 9: 11-15
11 “On that day I will raise up the fallen hut of David; I will wall up its breaches, raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old, 12 that they may conquer what is left of Edom and all the nations that shall bear my name, say I, the LORD, who will do this.” 13 “Yes, days are coming”, says the LORD, “when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the vintager, him who sows the seed; the juice of grapes shall drip down the mountains, and all the hills shall run with it. 14 I will bring about the restoration of my people Israel; they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities, plant vineyards and drink the wine, set out gardens and eat the fruits. 15 I will plant them upon their own ground; never again shall they be plucked from the land I have given them, say I, the LORD, your God.”
Psalm 85: 9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14
R: The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
8 [9] I will hear what God proclaims; the LORD-for he proclaims peace. To his people, 9 [10] Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land. (R) 10 [11] Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss. 11 [12] Truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven. (R) 12 [13] The LORD himself will give his benefits; our land shall yield its increase. 13 [14] Justice shall walk before him, and salvation, along the way of his steps. (R)
It is important to be always open to the new things God might want to do with us. Yes, we can draw from the past and see the ways God has worked with men and women before, but this is no guarantee that He does not want to do something new with us. As technology advances, there will be new ways in which we can share the Gospel. We should not only be aware of these but also actively seek to play our part in bringing the Gospel to life for the people of this generation.
Matthew 9: 14- 17
14 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.”
my reflections
think:  It is important to be always open to the new things God might want to do with us.

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 2 Chronicles 34-36


COME tO thE FEast
Many of us are invited to weddings where we celebrate the new life of the married couple. There is wine and gladness, food and song. We rejoice in God who shares His life and love and pours out His abundant blessing upon the newly weds. Imagine that you are a guest at a wedding reception. The host calls you by name and invites you to the meal and celebration. Imagine the disappointment of your host if you say that you have already eaten and that you won’t be joining in the reception.
In the gospel, the Pharisees are wondering why the disciples of Jesus do not fast as the disciples of John had done so in the past. Jesus presents to them the analogy of the wedding. What a terrible shame and disappointment if the guests did not celebrate while the Bridegroom was in their midst. There will come a time when He will be no more, so take the opportunity and come to the feast. Jesus is the Bridegroom who gave His life for the sake of His bride the Church (Ephesians 5). In The Old testament, God relates with Israel as His Bride. In the New Testament, Jesus weds Himself to the members of the Church — spotless and pure, and presented as a gift to the Father. This is the meaning of the new wine poured into new wineskins. The good news of Jesus and the pouring of His Spirit (new wine) inaugurate a new way of living, loving, serving and worshipping of the Lord. The disciples and those to succeed them are to proclaim the Christ. As new wineskins, they become the vehicles of the message. They carry the new word of love and forgiveness to a needy world.
We are called to come to the table of plenty where God provides for all of our needs. The Eucharist is the perfect wedding feast where we can have our fill of the love, forgiveness and peace of our God made manifest through the death and Resurrection of Jesus. Fr. Brian Steele
Reflection Question:
Do I go to Mass as though I were attending a wedding feast? How do I participate in this wedding feast? Do I see it as an important celebration of my life?
Lord, thank You for Your love. Thank You for inviting me to the Feast. Grant me grace to love and serve You all the days of my life. Amen
St. Athanasius the Athonite, abbot, pray for us.

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