The Gospel Today
Friday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers,
and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same;
but yours eat and drink.”
Jesus answered them, “Can you make the wedding guests fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
then they will fast in those days.”
And he also told them a parable.
“No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, ‘The old is good.’”
Reflection (Sem. Ivan Joseph F. Feniquito)
Jesus never gets tired of calling us. He strives so hard in order to win us from the deceits of evil. He continues to call us, just like in today’s Gospel passage of new wine in fresh skins. Our Lord Jesus Christ remains in us, believing that sooner or later we will come back to Him.
Rigidity is a manifestation of a lack of openness, the unwilling desire to move on from the old skin. Letting ourselves linger in darkness sometimes becomes normal to us. Suddenly we do not notice that we are drowning in a quicksand that makes us unable to see the light from Jesus Christ. If we remain in the past, our dark sinful past, there is a big tendency to be unable to hold, sustain, or release the sustenance of the new grace, power and direction which is Jesus’ unwavering call for us.
I am very thankful to the seminary formation for allowing me to be healed of my dark sinful past and personal woundedness caused by other people and the peculiar issues surrounding it. I realized that my past experiences, particularly those negative ones, had pulled me down and paralyzed me from moving away from them. The past years were blessings to me, for the different human and spiritual formation processes in the seminary enabled me to see the light coming from Jesus. It helped me to listen with open ears to His message and to respond to His call, a call for renewal, a call for conversion as He offers me a new wine skin, a new life with Him. I believe that the constant invitation for me is to always be available and open to His calling and be able to do what I must to remain faithful to Him. I should always remain attuned to Him through prayer and spiritual conversation.