A reading according to the holy Gospel of Mark 2:18-22
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to Jesus and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”
REFLECTIONS: "no one pours new wine into old wineskins."
Jesus is very generous. We all have unfinished stories. Each day is another page in the chapter of our lives. Many will not have time to write their last pages. Will we be ready? Or are we waiting for a deathbed conversion? Every day Jesus seeks us out and reveals His presence. Are we listening? Can we become a new person if we do not try to change?
Where can the Holy Spirit reside if we don't create a new environment, one that allows correction in love and truth. The ANTS (Automatic Negative Thinking) certainly are not tools for a new wineskin. Many of us can nod our heads to the following: complaining, superlative talking, bad will towards people, blaming, personalizing and questioning all the time.
Freddie Garcia was a heroin addict who found his way into many drug rehab programs but always lost the fight against his drug addiction. He finally enrolled in a faith based program. His epiphany with Jesus took place when he asked for forgiveness for all his sins. "Lord, I am tired of using drugs, I am tired of the life I have lived. Forgive me." (1)
God is in search for His children. Freddie was transformed by God. Freddie with his wife Ninfa have founded Victory Fellowship of Texas, a church, an outreach to gangs, prison visits, and a community that helps and prays. "Sin is the problem. Jesus Christ is the answer", said Freddie Garcia, turned pastor. (1)
God Bless You
(1) Elliott, Barbara, Street Saints, 2004, Radnor, Pennsylvania, Templeton Foundation Press, pp 9-15