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New wine into fresh wineskins

 

 

Gospel: Mt 9:14-17

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THE disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

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Commenting on the Gospel, Pope Francis focuses us on the innovative spirit that drove Jesus. “For example,” Francis notes, “Jesus says, ‘The law allows us to hate our enemies; but I tell you, pray for your enemies, don’t hate.’”

Regarding the question of fasting, Francis writes, “Jesus advised fasting, but with a certain freedom.” The fact is that “the doctrine of the law is enriched, renewed by Jesus. Jesus makes all things new, he renews things.”

Furthermore, Pope Francis reminds those who think Christian life consists only in fulfilling a series of requirements that “being a Christian means letting ourselves be renewed by Jesus in a new life.” For Francis, being a Christian is “a harmonious whole, the work of the Holy Spirit. He renews everything. He renews our hearts, our lives, and makes us live differently” as a whole. “We can’t be piecemeal, part-time Christians.” The Pope goes on to assert, “Being part-time Christians doesn’t work; we have to be full-time Christians.” Am I engaged full-time in living the Christian life – even in the ordinary events of daily life?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2020,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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