Today's Gospel: Luke 5, 33-39
One day my wife cooked a new recipe, a special dish for our lunch. Our oldest son, looked at the dish, twisted his nose and said: "What is this?" My wife answered: "Artichoke, eat, it is very healthy!" He answered "I don't like it," and my wife responded "How can you not like if you haven´t even tasted it?" Our lunch was wonderful, but my son wouldn't even touch his food.
How many times we don´t try something new? Try a new dish, a new spice? Change our route from office to home? Change places at the dinner table? We make small rules, routines that we end up using without any reason, and repeating actions because we think it's best. "I always did it like this, and it always worked."
The rules of the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law were like that; for example: on the Sabbath, you couldn't tie your sandals. There were over 300 rules, preached for a long time from the doctors of the law, forming a doctrine that the Hebrew people respected without questioning.
However, Jesus was the new wine, preaching the Gospel, freedom, joy and love. A new lifestyle that didn't match the rules from the Pharisees and the doctors of the law, it was the piece of new fabric that did not fit in old clothes. As Pope Francis says about this text: "Jesus disapproved of these people, these doctors of the law who made his people become slaves to the rules they had to obey." He adds: "The Church asks some changes of all of us, asks us to leave aside outdated structures."
So we have to keep our minds open to receive Jesus' Gospel, and in this way, transform ourselves into new wineskins to receive the new wine.
Are we new wineskins to receive the new wine? Are we prepared to change and be open to receiving Jesus' Gospel?
Lord Jesus, open the heart and the mind of your faithful like new wineskins, so they can hear your word and drink from this new wine to become a new society.
Copyright 2016 José Roberto Paneque Filho - translated from the original Portuguese by Flavia Ghelardi
José Roberto Paneque Filho has been married for 16 years to my wife Adriana; they have two children, Lucas and Miguel. José works as a product manager in information. They are members of Schoenstatt´s Family Federation. Their apostolate is volunteer work with families in the Shrine of the Mother, Queen, and Victress Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt, in Vila Mariana, São Paulo, Brazil.