Posted by: RAM | January 18, 2015

Monday (January 19): “No one pours new wine into old wineskins.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Holy Name

Monday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Arrivederci, Pope Francis!

First Reading: Hebrews 5:1-10
Psalms 110:1-4:  You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
Gospel: Mark 2:18-22
 

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast.
People came to Jesus and objected,
“Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them,
“Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.
But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast on that day.
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.
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.” http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/011915.cfm

Reflection:  Which comes first, fasting or feasting? The disciples of John the Baptist were upset with Jesus’ disciples because they did not fast. Fasting was one of the three most important religious duties, along with prayer and almsgiving. Jesus gave a simple explanation. There’s a time for fasting and a time for feasting (or celebrating). To walk as a disciple with Jesus is to experience a whole new joy of relationship akin to the joy of the wedding party in celebrating with the groom and bride their wedding bliss. But there also comes a time when the Lord’s disciples must bear the cross of affliction and purification. For the disciple there is both a time for rejoicing in the Lord’s presence and celebrating his goodness and a time for seeking the Lord with humility and fasting and for mourning over sin. Do you take joy in the Lord’s presence with you and do you express sorrow and contrition for your sins?

Jesus goes on to warn his disciples about the problem of the “closed mind” that refuses to learn new things. Jesus used an image familiar to his audience – new and old wine skins. In Jesus’ times, wine was stored in wine skins, not bottles. New wine poured into skins was still fermenting. The gases exerted gave pressure. New wine skins were elastic enough to take the pressure, but old wine skins easily burst because they were hard. What did Jesus mean by this comparison? Are we to reject the old in place of the new? Just as there is a right place and a right time for fasting and for feasting, so there is a right place for the old as well as the new.

Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old (Matthew 13:52). How impoverished we would be if we only had the Old Testament or the New Testament, rather than both. The Lord gives us wisdom so we can make the best use of both the old and the new. He doesn’t want us to hold rigidly to the past and to be resistant to the new work of his Holy Spirit in our lives. He wants our minds and hearts to be like new wine skins – open and ready to receive the new wine of the Holy Spirit. Are you eager to grow in the knowledge and understanding of God’s word and plan for your life?

“Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit, that I may grow in the knowledge of your great love and truth. Help me to seek you earnestly in prayer and fasting that I may turn away from sin and wilfulness and conform my life more fully to your will. May I always find joy in knowing, loving, and serving you.” http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/jan19.htm  http://www.dailyscripture.net author Don Schwager © 2014 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day: St. Fillan
Fillan, son of Feriach and St. Kentigerna, was also known as Foelan. He became amonk in his youth and accompanied his mother from Ireland to Scotland where he lived as a hermit near St. Andrew’s monastery for many years, and then was elected abbot. He later resigned and resumed his eremitical life at Glendochart, Pertchire, where he built a church and was reknowned for his miracles. Various legends attribute the most extravagant miracles to him, such as the one in which his prayers caused a wolf that had killed the ox he was using to drag materials to the church he was building, to take the ox’s place. Fillan died on January 19. His feast day is January 19. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=581

More Saints of the Day:

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark. @Pontifex RAM

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