September 7, 2012
Feast of Ss. Stephen, Melchior, & Mark, and Jesuit martyrs of Hungary
Luke 5: 33-39
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 (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
“Old Wine Good, New Wine Better”
My high school rebellion coincided with Vatican II, and it was all a mess. Just when I was turning against the religious practices I had so loved as a boy, the Church got rid of many of them for me!
But I had drunk the old wine, and drunk deeply, and when all the dust settled, I felt as if we had been driven from the royal palace (well, the version of it we had in New Jersey) into a not very nice trailer. So I very much understand and sympathize with the temptation to simply reconstruct and move back into the palace. I do hope we do so, in fact, but it will also have to be renovated, and we will have learned some things from living in the trailer we would not otherwise have learned.
Like trusting in the living God more than earthly treasures, no matter how highly articulated the vaulted ceilings of mind or building, no matter how elevating the chant, polyphony, cantata. Like realizing that God has given us these treasures to help us come to Him, but that the simplest, humblest soul is worth more than all the glories of Western civilization, and it is a soul for which Jesus shed His blood.
The old wine has been good. The new wine will be better, when we drink it new with Our Lord in His Kingdom. Let us be like the wise scribes who know how to rightly weigh the value of things. Let us be fresh in the Holy Spirit, open to the good things God will give us, even as we give Him glory for the good things He has given us.
—Fr. Raymond Gawronski, S.J.
Lord, who or what might I need to see with “new” eyes? Could it be a family member, a friend, someone at work? Do you want me to handle conflict so that I do not chase others away? Could it be that I need to hold a crucial conversation with someone who has broken a promise, betrayed a trust, or been insensitive to my needs. Lord, help me to see such situations from the perspective of mutual benefit. Let my “new” perspective move me forward so when others see my behaviors and hear my words, they are drawn closer to you.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!