Friday, September 04, 2020

Friday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time

“No one poured new wine into old wine skins, otherwise the new wine will burst the skins, and the skins will be ruined. Rather pour NEW WINE in the FRESH WINESKINS.” These are the words of Jesus in the gospel today, following the question of the scribes to Jesus, “Why do you and your disciples NOT fast, like John’s disciples, as well as, the disciples of the Pharisees?”

The laws of fasting need to be modified according to circumstances: you don’t fast at a wedding!!!! At least, never at an Italian wedding!! Religious traditions and customs are essential but can never become absolutized, or else the heart becomes “hard hearted.”
Our hearts must be transformed to allow the new wine of the Spirit to fill it without breaking it. My limited understanding of this metaphor is that new wine poured into old wineskins stretches them to the point of causing a rupture.

Jesus is telling us in no uncertain ways: OUR hearts need to be transformed, made new, to allow the Spirit to be able to enter and transform our minds. Transformed hearts lead to transformed minds. Sometimes a changed mind can transform an old, dusty heart. What comes first, says the tired adage, “the chicken or the egg.” Who knows which is transformed first, the mind or the heart? It doesn’t really matter because BOTH need to be made new.

May the new wine of Christ’s Spirit be able to fill our minds hearts.... or our hearts and minds... so that we can transform the culture and the world.

Fr. Frank