What Are You Doing with that Wine?

Friday’s gospel is about new wine and old wineskins. Fr. James Bradley (whose Twitter feed — @FrJamesBradley — is a source of social-media spiritual nourishment) reflects:

fervent and yet silent interior renewal, that makes us ready to receive the graces of this endeavour and to act on them, as we seek to bring the gospel once more to the world. If we simply continue to pour the ‘new wine’ of a renewed faith into the ‘old skins’ of our unchanged lives, without the interior evangelisation and conversion that is required for each of us, then all the engagement with culture and social media and liturgical renewal that we can muster, will count for little.

On this First Friday, when we commemorate the Lord’s sacred heart, that interior renewal which we require is very clearly presented to us. Just as Christ was entirely consumed by his love for us, so we must have hearts that consume our own earthly desires and wills, in order that his heart might reign in us, and work through all that we do. To have the heart of Jesus Christ within us is to have exactly the ‘new skins’ we require to be truly and profoundly transformed by Christ ourselves, and so be transformative of the culture of death and provisionality that exists around us.

Death and provisionality? I’m still stuck on the president’s words last Saturday about affronts to human dignity. I reflect on that, the pope’s cry on the island of Lampedusa that we quit our indifference, and most especially Pope Francis’s call for fasting and prayer for peace this weekend here.

Thanks be to God we’re praying for peace together this weekend.


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