Friday 2 September 2022

About Today Readings

Corinthians 4:1-5. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord – Psalm 36(37):3-6, 27-28, 39-40. Luke 5:33-39.

Jesus’ ways were new

I love that the disciples of Jesus were famous not for fasting and praying, but for eating and drinking. For a group reputed for their gastronomical pursuits, what better analogy to explain themselves than wine? Jesus explains that his followers don’t need to perform traditional external displays of piety to draw close to God, for God walked among them. Jesus makes the analogy of these strict adherents of Judaism to old wine, and himself to new wine. I always find this verse odd, because nine times out of 10, old wine is better. New wine is sharper, edgier, less complex. Jesus acknowledges the difference, saying those drinking old wine would not be interested in the new. But to his listeners he was explaining he represented an ushering in of a new era: Jesus’ ways were new, they were better, and they would be met with opposition from the old. In the shadow of the Plenary Council, may we reflect on the tension between old and new, between adapting and remaining steadfast.

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