“Nor does anyone pour new wine into used wineskin, because the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins will be ruined. Instead, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.” (Mk 2:22)
Meditation: On the first day of the week we are called through today’s meditation verse for a renewal; for a new heart and spirit. This message of God is well conveyed through the prophet Isaiah as he says, “I will give them a new heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the stony heart from their bodies, and replace it with a natural heart, so that they will live according to my statutes, and observe and carry out my ordinances; thus they shall be my people and I will be their God.” (Ezek 11:19, 20)
Sometimes, the call for renewal is also otherwise considered as a call for returning to the original; retaining the originality. It is for this that Jacob was asked to return to Bethel. God said to Jacob, “Go up now to Bethel. Settle there and build an altar there to God who appeared to you while you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” (Ex 35:1) Again in the book of revelation, the angel of the Lord says, “Yet I hold this against you; you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lamp-stand from its place, unless you repent.” (Rev 2:4, 5)
In today’s verse also Jesus reminds us of this: “Nor does anyone pour new wine into used wineskin, because the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins will be ruined. Instead, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.” (Mk 2:22) Just as you need new wineskins for new wine, you need a new heart and spirit to receive the new law of Jesus Christ.
He calls for a change of heart, different from the old, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” (Mt 5:17) “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father.” (Mt 5:43)
In the second reading we hear, “God said to him, ‘you are my son; today I have become your father.’” (Heb 5:5) How do I respond to this word of the living God today? Even today, am I keeping myself hiding from God like Adam? Why do I lose easily the inspiration and motivation that I receive from retreats and sacramental life? What about the new heart, new spirit, and new law?
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Lord, teach us also today the meaning of renewing ourselves and returning to your house. “So Jacob told his family and all the others who were with him, ‘get rid of the foreign gods that you have among you; then purify yourselves and put on fresh clothes.’” (Ex 35:2) Guided by the Holy Spirit, may we also do the same! We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Greetings: God is with you! Have a blissful Monday!