July 8, 2017

July 8

July 8, 2017:  Saturday, 13th week, Ordinary Time

  • Tie with grapes and other fruits:  People put new wine into fresh, not old, skins (gospel)

  • 'Eyeball' pin:  Isaac was so old that his eyesight failed him (1st reading)

  • 'Wheat' pin, 'fruits' tie:  Rebekah prepared an appetizing dish and bread for Isaac (1st reading)

  • 'Hands' pin:  Rebekah covered Jacob's hands to deceive Isaac (1st reading)
  • Cloth in shirt:  No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth (gospel)
  • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

    New wine, fresh skins!
  • Gn 27:1-5, 15-29  Isaac, eyesight failing / Esau:  Hunt, prepare a dish for me, and bring it to me, and I'll give you my special blessing.”  Rebekah heard, gave Jacob Esau's clothes, covered his hands and neck, and handed him the dish and bread.  Jacob brought it to his father, said he was Esau.  Isaac, thinking it was Esau despite his voice because of the feel of his 'hands' and the smell of his clothes, blessed him, praying for fertile land and for people's homage and obedience.
  • Ps 135:1b-6  "Praise the Lord for the Lord is good!"  The Lord does all he wills; he chose Jacob....
  • Mt 9:14-17  John's disciples / Jesus:  “Why do we fast but not your disciples?” / “Wedding guests don't mourn when the groom is there, but when he's taken away, they'll fast.  If you patch an old cloak with new cloth, the tear worsens.  If you put new wine into old skins, the wine spills and the skins are ruined.  New wine, fresh skins!” 
      • Creighton:  The old wineskins of life feel comfortable, but we can't fit the new into the old.  I've been tempted to portray myself as someone else just as Jacob does, to create the impression I'm more successful, richer, happier,.., but the temptation never satisfies me.  As I grow more confident in God’s love, I know we all share experiences of joy, humiliation, bravery, fear, contentment, and longing.  I pray for the grace to appreciate God’s gifts and the ability to grow through heartache.
        Don't put new wine into old skins...
      • One Bread, One Body:  Jesus explained his disciples would fast later after they had received a life in the Spirit.  Fasting in Jesus' name is so powerful, it's incompatible with the old lifestyle.  Jesus' fasting was sometimes extreme:  he fasted 40 days and nights, longer than the Israelites' annual Day of Atonement fast and the Pharisees' two weekly days of fast.  Without life in the Spirit, we won't have the discernment, strength, and motivation necessary for an extensive fast.  Jesus' fasting was also different from Old Testament fasting because it was action more than reaction (to sin); Jesus fasted to inaugurate his public ministry and the Church's first missionary journey.  Without a life of ministry and mission, we don't have a wineskin that can hold Jesus' way of fasting.  If we have trouble fasting or don't see its value, we need to change the wineskin of our lifestyle.
      • Passionist:  Sometimes when reading about Jesus' public ministry, we need to be attentive to detail. Today we observe Jesus' even-handedness; he was sensitive to his audiences and responded accordingly.  He drew upon their experience and made God relevant in language they understood and appreciated.  Jesus' words today about fasting are about the need to embrace a bigger vision; he offers a new way to see God and live in his light.  To illustrate the need to embrace the new, Jesus speaks of new wineskins and of shrunken patches; the men were familiar with the wineskin analogy, the women with the patch analogy.  May we embrace Jesus’ call to live in the light of a new vision of God and not be bound by the "familiar and safe"....
      • DailyScripture.net:  "The day will come when they will fast":  John's disciples were upset with Jesus', who didn't fast.  Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving were the three most important religious duties.  Jesus explained there's a time for fasting and one for celebrating.  To walk with Jesus is to experience a joy of relationship like that of a wedding feast, but we must also bear the cross of affliction and purification, humbly seeking the Lord, fasting, and mourning over sin.
      To warn his disciples not to close their minds, he used an image familiar to them:   New wine poured into skins was still fermenting; new skins could take the pressure, but old ones would burst.  May we find the right time and place for both old and new, not clinging to the past but open to the Spirit's new work.

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