New Wine

Readings for Friday September 3, 2010

Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great, pope and doctor of the Church

First Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 37
Gospel: Luke 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.'" (Lk5:33-39)

"The old is good" ... these are the words that Jesus uses to describe someone who has been drinking the old wine who will not desire the new. Jesus knows the hearts and minds of men very well, He knows that we are not accustomed to (nor do we like) change. Many of us get very comfortable with how things are and we do not desire change ... especially when "the old is good." The scribes and pharisees feel into this same sort of complacency in their own lives. They were happy with their places and their "relationship" with God. They were set in their ways and to get them to change did not look likely. Jesus knew this about the so called religious leaders, and that is why He chose to address the scribes and pharisees as He did.

The reality is that there is a new way and a new life with Jesus. We have to be willing to let go of our comfort in this life and to follow Him. We may have really liked the "old wine" but the "new wine" is better.

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for you many blessings and gifts in this life. Lord, you are our God, help us to always trust in you and to follow only you in our lives. Lord, thank you for all that we have, help us to be good stewards of all your great gifts, and help us not to take anything for granted. Lord, we pray for all those who are without a job, may they learn to rely and trust in you during this time. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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