HOMILY FOR SATURDAY OF THE 13TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II
THEME: NEW WINE
BY: FR. GERALD MUSA
HOMILY FOR SATURDAY JULY 2 2022
Jesus came to correct misconceptions about God and religion, but many misunderstood his teaching and lifestyle. For example, John’s disciples could not understand why he ate and drank freely with task collectors and sinners, unlike their master John the Baptist who was austere. Jesus said to them, “No one puts a piece of unshrunk (new) cloth to an old garment… Neither is new wine put into old wine skin” (Matthew 9:16-17). Putting new wine in old wineskin goes against conventional wisdom because an old wineskin that has lost elasticity can easily burst in the process of fermentation. On a deeper level, the new wine which Jesus refers to is his radical teaching, which gives a fresh perspective to the understanding of religion and the relationship with God. The old concept of religion emphasised legalism, follows the letters of the law, and encourages external piety, whereas the new teaching of Jesus requires a new lifestyle. The song, ‘Give me that old time religion,’ is not an expression of a desire to go back to the pharisaic understanding of religion or a nostalgia for the traditional religion of our forefathers, or a clamour for orthodoxy or conservatism, rather the song is a prayer to return to the basics of the teachings of Jesus which are encapsuled in the beatitudes. Are we ready and willing to internalise and practice the radical teaching of Jesus?