Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wine skins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins.” (Mark 2: 18-22)
Are you the same person as you were yesterday? Of course not. The incidents of yesterday, the passing of time in our lives, the people we engaged with yesterday, have all affected who you and I are today. As a result, we are changed. Depending on yesterday, it might be slight or monumental.
That change marks our faith life as well. That’s why faith is a journey. Not the same as yesterday and hopefully enriched by our experiences. The challenge is to be aware of the complexions of our faith and remain true to its role in our lives, to remain true to what our faith is telling us, to accept that every new day brins us the opportunity to live our faith, changed yes, but constant in our desire to live his word.
Each day, God gives us some wine to carry. Sometimes it is old, mature wine. Old wine is compatible with our usual habits, our old friends, our common expectations. Those days on which we are asked to carry old wine are comfortable, easy days, days that we enjoy.
But not infrequently we are asked to carry new wine, wine that presents unexpected occurrences, new demands, surprising ideas. There is plenty of new wine in our world and in our lives.
We have been challenged facing the new realities that came into place from the pandemic.
We have been challenged because we are dealing with a divided society.
We have been challenged because too many in politics have put their personal gain before ours and they attempt to move us as prawns upon their chessboard.
There are personal examples: changes that happen in our family, poor decisions that our children make, new realities in our work, in our marriage.
Where do we go then on this journey of faith?
We start where we began. A coming to Christ. A belief that Jesus Christ came for us, died for us, and brought the promise of eternal life. We start by offering our will to him and never letting go.
It is the sacrifice of one’s own will as a beautiful and pleasing offering to God the Father with Jesus, as a fragrant and salvific, “Not my will, but yours, be done.”
And then comes another day of experiences, of people, of society. How do we carry this new wine?
By understanding that he asks us to remain hopeful and he asks us to be true to his word. Hopeful, because we continue to believe that the wine that God gives us, even if it is still fermenting and difficult to carry, is nevertheless a gift. If we continue to be flexible and hopeful, we will eventually recognize the good things that God is offering us. By remaining open to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit residing in us, we gain that understanding.
Being true to his word means that we will live our lives in a way that may even be contra to the world but still in sync with his teachings.
If we believe that, if we live that, then we become the wineskins that carry the good news, the new wine of Christ’s kingdom.
Prayer of The Day
“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 so that I may turn away from sin and willfulness and conform my life more fully to your will. May I always find joy in knowing, loving, and serving You who are My All.”
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?