Monday 2nd Week of the Year
Fasting and new wine go so well together.
Fasting is not something we look forward to doing.
Nor do we ever get used to it.
Our weak human nature can always come up
with an excuse not to fast.
Our New Year resolution to diet and exercise
can easily get derailed.
My how good that pie looks!.
So we need something to help us overcome these temptations
to give in to our appetites or they will run our lives.
I believe this is why St. Mark spoke of the cloth and the wineskins
in the same passage with fasting.
Think of our old cloths or old wineskins
as our human nature that is yet to be redeemed.
How true it is that we can spend a lot of time and effort
trying to throw them away.
Those old wineskins keep getting us in trouble,
whether they are behaviors, sin, or attitudes.
We need more than our human resources and will power.
So think of fasting more than giving up something
but as doing something.
Fasting creates is us an emptiness
so we can begin to see
what really matters to God for us and others.
The hunger in our bodies is converted to hunger in our souls.
Jesus says we need to have a new wine
poured into new wineskins.
This new wine is a new encounter Jesus has with us,
a new way that he wants to relate with us,
pray in us, love, forgive and minister to others in us.
Commenting on Psalm 95: verse 1 “Sing to the Lord a new song,” Pope Francis says, “What is this new song? It does not consist of words, it is not a melody, it is the song of your life, it is allowing our life to be identified with Jesus, it is sharing his sentiments, his thoughts, his actions. And the life of Jesus is a life for others. It is a life of service.”