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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time Download This Homily

September 6, 2019

Friday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

 

Col 1: 15-20

Psalm 100:1-2, 3, 4, 5

Lk 5: 33-39

 

Gospel Reading

 

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.'"

 

 

Reflection

 

New Wine and New Wine Skins

 

 

In today’s Gospel passage Jesus is using an imagery which we may not fully understand. But the imagery of wine and wine skin was well understood by the people of his times. Wine was preserved in wine skins. The new wine skins were elastic enough to take the pressure of it, but as it became old it would lose its elasticity and would become hard. Then it would easily burst unable to bear the pressure.

 

The message is clear that the new teaching of Jesus cannot be contained in the old wine skins of Judaism. A separation from the Judaism was inevitable for Christianity. This passage and specifically this imagery tell of it. That is the traditional interpretation of it. This traditional interpretation was first introduced by the heretic, Marcion in second century A.D. He used it to explain the Christian departure from the Jewish roots. Though other teachings of Marcion were discarded as heresy, his interpretation of the passage lived on. Many splinter groups used it later to justify their separation from Catholic Church, including the protestant reformers like, Luther, Swingli and Calvin and also many neo Pentecostal groups in the recent years. That traditional interpretation need not be the only thing that Jesus meant.

 

It is a fact of life that none of us likes to deviate from the old ideas with which we grow familiar in the course of time. Any new idea is resisted by the mind. We feel comfortable and secure with the familiar old ideas. What prevents us from accepting the new ideas is the sense of loss of this comfort and security. Same is the case with our religious practices. We are quite happy with the way we pray, the routine we follow in our spiritual practices and the rituals and novenas and other pious practices. They give us a sense of satisfaction. It need not be necessary that they help us in our spiritual growth and experience of Jesus. What they provide us in many instances is the psychological satisfaction than the real spiritual growth. Naturally any new way is resisted by our traditional mind.

 

Walking with Jesus is a new experience of joyful relationship. The old wine skin of our mind resists it. The teaching of Jesus presents a new way of looking at God and religion. Jesus was against the pharisaic way of tying up people in archaic rules and practices. He wants us to experience the joy of experiencing God. That was what he was experiencing. He was finding solace and blissful joy in the company of his heavenly father. He wants us also to come to that level of experiencing him. Do I experience joy in the presence of Jesus?

 

Jesus wants us to keep our minds like the new wine skins, elastic and fresh to receive the new wine of his teaching through the Holy Spirit. Let us keep our minds open. Christianity as envisaged by Jesus is a religion of Joy. This joy comes from the experience of heavenly father and Jesus. Jesus wants us to realize that life with Him is full of joy and celebration. He is the life. He is the joy. He is the source of my satisfaction.

 

Dr Martin Mallathu CMI

 


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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