Then they said to him, “John’s disciples, like the disciples of the Pharisees, frequently fast and pray, but your disciples eat and drink.Jesus said to them, “You cannot make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”
He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and sews it on an old garment; otherwise the new will be torn, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, ‘The old is good.’”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I don’t always like change. The uncertainty of what might lie ahead can sometimes be enough for me to try to stick with my old ways of thinking and acting rather than doing the hard work of opening myself up to change. But in today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds his disciples that trying to continue in our old ways despite new knowledge or experiences won’t do us any good.
New input can come in many forms. Perhaps we read the news and come to a different understanding of social or political issues than we had before. Maybe we try to interact with that difficult family member or colleague from the perspective of love and patience instead of anger or irritation. Or perhaps we read a familiar Scripture passage with new eyes, allowing God to offer us a new message through the familiar words.
How can you open your heart to a new experience or way of thinking today?
Good and gracious God, just as a wineskin needs to stretch to accommodate the new wine that is poured into it, let our hearts and minds stretch to allow for new experiences. Help us to move past our preconceived notions to be open to your invitation in our lives. May we grow in our relationship with you and with all those we encounter today. Amen.
—Lauren GaffeyPlease share the Good Word with your friends!