In today’s first reading, the Lord tells of the restoration of Israel that He will bring about. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 9, Jesus talks about putting new wine into old wineskins. Doesn’t work so well.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never used a wineskin. It took me a while and a bit of study to really “get” this saying of Jesus. So here’s the scoop: the “new wine” is the Holy Spirit, or that new life of the Spirit that Christ offers. We are the wineskin. If that new wine of the Spirit is poured into us, and we remain that old wineskin, we will burst! OK, maybe not burst, but we won’t be able to hold that new wine.
When the new wine of the Spirit is poured into us, we must become a “new creation in Christ.” Now, it’s not like we become that fresh wineskin immediately. Though we certainly can, usually it is a process. The more of that new wine we accept, the newer we become. Until eventually we become plump and fattened with the Spirit of God. That’s the goal!
Father, we thank you for pouring out the new wine of your Spirit into us. Help us to accept more and more, as we become that new wineskin, able to hold ever more of your Spirit. Amen.