REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
September 4, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.” Luke 5:37
The images in today’s Gospel of old and new wine and wineskins, and patching old cloaks with new material, are meant to help us conform to Christ. Christ initiated a new covenant that brought salvation to all people, and in so doing gives us the choice to accept the life that is new, or to be satisfied with the old. In other words, we are invited to turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel
What is this new wine? And what are the old wineskins? The new wine is the new life of grace we have been blessed with in abundance and the old wineskins are our old fallen natures and the old law. What Jesus is telling us is that if we wish to receive His grace and mercy in our lives we must allow Him to transform our old selves into new creations and embrace the new law of grace.
Have you become a new creation? Have you allowed your former self to die so that the new person can rise again? What does it mean to become a new creation in Christ so that the new wine of grace can be poured into your life?
Becoming a new creation in Christ means that we live on a whole new level and no longer cling to our former ways. It means that God does powerful things in our lives far beyond anything we could ever do by ourselves. It means we have become a new and fit “wineskin” for God to be poured into. And it means that this new “wine” is the Holy Spirit taking hold of and possessing our lives.
Practically speaking, if we are made a new creation in Christ then we are properly prepared to receive the grace of the Sacraments and all that comes our way through daily prayer and worship. But the first goal must be to become those new wineskins. So how do we do this?
We do it by Baptism and then by intentionally choosing to turn from sin and embrace the Gospel. But this general command from God, to turn from sin and embrace the Gospel, must be very intentional and lived daily. As we make daily practical and intentional decisions to turn to Christ in all things, we will discover that the Holy Spirit suddenly, powerfully and immediately pours the new wine of grace into our lives. We will discover a new peace and joy that fills us and we will have strength beyond our own ability.
Reflect, today, upon whether or not you are truly a new creation in Christ. Have you turned from your former way and shed the shackles that bound you? Have you embraced the new full Gospel and do you daily allow God to pour forth the Holy Spirit in your life?
Lord, please do make me a new creation. Transform me and renew me completely. May my new life in You be one that continually receives the full outpouring of Your grace and mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.