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. Aug 2020 .
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Doctrines & Morals

No one puts new wine in old wine skin

Amos 9:11-15, Mt. 9:14-17. In today's first reading, Amos speaks of the upcoming judgment that the northern kingdom of Israel would suffer for their rebellions and disobedience against God. Having spoken about the destruction of Israel and the downfall of the false priesthood and false idol worship at Bethel which king Jeroboam of Israel had promoted to keep the Israelites under his rule from returning to the House of David’s allegiance. All of these would eventually come true as the northern kingdom of Israel would be crushed and destroyed by their enemies and the Assyrians, the people led into exile. Today, God affirms His mercy and compassion to all who seek Him in truth. His love for His chosen one is to bring them back again into His embrace and love. God has always offered His love and mercy generously to us, we are called to be open to accept them.

For us to receive the fullness of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness, we need to heed what Jesus told His disciples and the Pharisees in today's Gospel when they asked Him why they fast and His disciples do not. Jesus rebuts them saying that while He was with them, they would not fast because truly, being with them and His presence was a joyous time, not to be marred by the sorrowful and penitential nature of fasting. It was only when He departs from them, a premonition for His suffering, death and sacrifice on the Cross, that they would fast, in sorrow for their sins. He informs the Pharisees that during this special time of celebration, fasting is not appropriate. It is, rather, a time for sharing at table. At table, He revealed God’s hospitable love, especially to those who felt beyond the reach of God’s love. Hence, Jesus uses the parable of the wine and the wineskin to highlight that the ways advocated by the Pharisees were incompatible with the true path that the Lord reveals to His people, He uses the analogy of new wine that ought to be paired with new wineskin, or else the wine would destroy the old wineskin and vice versa if old wine is kept in new wineskin. The old way of the Pharisees, their preoccupation and distraction with the minute details and appearances, were therefore incompatible with those who want to seek God with true faith. With this parable the Lord wants us to know that disobedience, wickedness, evil and sin are all incompatible with His path and if we do not change our ways, then we will be judged by our sins and refusal to change our ways.

May the Lord fill us with His love that we may always consecrate our life to God! Amen!! Remain safe and join me to thank God as I celebrate seven years in the Vineyard of God!!!

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