The WORD in Other Words by Fr Gil Alejandria SVD (Philippines) for Monday Week 2 in Ordinary Time
We are not familiar with wineskins nowadays, as wine is now in bottles. The parable of the wineskins may be difficult to relate to in our time, yet the message it conveys remains relevant today as in those times – that changes in one’s life demand changes in other aspects of human existence.
Applied to our Christian faith, the parable alludes to the acceptance of the Good News of salvation. This faith brought about by accepting the Good News can be understood as the ‘wine’. The ‘wineskin’ can mean our behavior, our value systems, and practically everything else in our life.
When we have decided to declare our faith in God, it means we will discard some behavior or habits that may not be compatible with this faith. We change ourselves. We raise or upgrade ourselves from a sinful and selfish life to a life that seeks holiness and perfection.
Those who persist in using the ‘old wineskins’ may be perceived as those who are called “double-faced” Christians. They claim to profess the faith but they are sorely lacking in showing their faith in concrete actions. They claim to have the new wine of faith but cling to the old wineskin of selfishness and sinfulness.
We are challenged to live a new life, to renew ourselves constantly, and follow the Lord who makes all things new.