Monday, 2nd Week in Ordinary Time
“New wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”
We humans are often schizophrenic when it comes to the old and the new. On one hand, we are creatures of tradition. We follow the same daily routine. We find comfort in things which are familiar. Change is something we would rather avoid. On the other hand, we often seek those activities and items which have the potential to rescue us from the abyss of boredom – bigger houses, exotic vacations, fancier cars, new love affairs.
Actually, this is just the tip of the iceberg. All too often we find ourselves caught up in destructive behavior but are hesitant to confront it and make changes because we are afraid of the new and unknown. I also wonder how often we act out our boredom in ways that are unhealthy and hurtful. This is what the Gospel of John talks about people preferring darkness to light. Because this characteristic is ingrained in human nature, we need some outside help if we are to move out of our darkness and into the light of the new.
The power of God is like new wine in fresh wineskins, even when the ‘old’ appears to be entrenched in the fabric of humanity. We often forget that God is still in control because we measure God’s power in human terms. We wonder why God does not use the immeasurable power at his command to step and wipe out evil. We wonder why God does not assemble an army of angels to thwart injustice and oppression. That is where we miss God’s message.
The new wine of God’s power is focused on a different kind of weapon. It is found on a cross! It is the crucified one, Jesus – God’s power made known in weakness. Rather than looking for new life in the pleasures that life offers, God calls us to find new life in Jesus. He was hardly a mighty warrior or a conquering hero. But his life, death, and resurrection on behalf of all humanity have restored creation back to its creator. That, my friends, is the ultimate in power!
New wine in new wineskins is a kind of power for a new kind of living – which is exemplified in Christ’s self-giving and self-sacrificing love. May God grant us the grace to let go of the old and embrace the new.