Sep 4 2020 Reflection
Friday 4 September 2020
First Reading: 1 COR 4:1-5
The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
PS 37:3-4, 5-6, 27-28, 39-40
Gospel Reading: LK 5:33-39
Today’s Note: Friday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
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.’”
No one pours new wine into old wineskins. (Luke 5:37)
It’s said that the game of rugby was born during an 1823 English football (soccer) match, when William Webb Ellis caught the ball in his arms and ran with it. By breaking the “no hands” rule, Ellis created an entirely new game. Think of how different that game must have looked. Imagine the crowds saying, “You can’t do that!” And it’s true: in soccer, you can’t. But there was something new going on. The rules of the game had changed.
In today’s Gospel, the people were mystified by Jesus. His disciples were not fasting, whereas the Pharisees’ and John the Baptist’s disciples fasted regularly. Everyone saw these people as especially holy and devoted to God. So why didn’t Jesus and his disciples fast? Jesus’ answer seemed to come out of left field: rather than talk about the value of fasting, he tells them, The Bridegroom is here (Luke 5:34). There’s something new going on here, something that wasn’t the case for the Pharisees or even for John the Baptist.
Jesus himself brought the newness; he was the “game changer.” By his presence on earth, Jesus offered an entirely new relationship with God. As faithful as these devout Jews were, Jesus brought God closer than they had ever dreamed possible. He worked miracles, healed diseases, and forgave sins—things only God could do. In Christ, God himself was standing before them, offering them new hope in the form of a mercy they could touch and experience.
Although we still experience imperfect communion with God here on earth, Jesus is still present to us in a new way. By becoming man, dying, and rising, he changed the rules. He overcame every obstacle that keeps us from God: our sin, our weakness, even death itself.
The Bridegroom really is here! Believe Jesus’ promise today. He is close. He is at work in the “here” of your life. He offers you new closeness, freedom, and power. Ask the Spirit to help you see all that Jesus has given you. Even a difficult situation could be an opportunity for you to receive his “new wine” (Luke 5:37). There’s something new going on!
“Lord Jesus, help me recognize your new wine in my life.”