Lord, help me to remain open and ready to receive the new wine of the Holy Spirit.
13th Week in Ordinary Time : Saturday 4th July 2020
Am. 9:11-15; Ps. 84:9,11-12,13-14;
Mt. 9:14-17 (Ps Wk I)
In today’s Gospel reading, we see how Jesus responded to John the Baptist’s disciples on ‘Fasting’. .
For Jesus, fasting is a sign of mourning, and this did not harmonise with the radically new situation inaugurated by Him. Yet the time of fasting would come when the ‘bridegroom’ was to be taken away, that is, after the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Today, the Church fasts in eager awaiting the parousia, the return of the ‘bridegroom’.
The two images that Jesus used in Mt. 9:16-17, emphasise the newness of the Messianic age, which cannot coexist with what is old. So the symbols of the garment and the wineskin reinforce the fact that there is an incompatibility between Jesus’ message and the teachings of Judaism.
The old garment and wineskin represent Judaism and Jewish practices of piety. The new garment and the new wineskin represent the radical newness of Jesus’ message. So, Judaism, with its piety, cannot be accepted in the new age of salvation that Jesus Himself brought us.
This is what the Lord spoke of in the first reading — the image of the newness seen in the ‘rebuilding’ of Ruined cities, mountains will run with new wine and the hills all flow with it, and the assurance of newness of life.
We are challenged by both readings to remain always open and ready to receive the new wine of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, grant us the grace to be ready to embrace the ‘new’ in the daily life that Jesus gives us.