"People do not pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined." —Matthew 9:17
Jesus' way of fasting and of living is so volatile that it would explode if put into our old lifestyle. When Jesus fasted, He was led by the Spirit into the desert. He fasted for forty days, overcame and drove out Satan, and inaugurated the most important three years in the history of the human race. When we fast like Jesus, we better be living more like Jesus. His way of fasting won't fit into a worldly life, but will cause it to explode like an old wineskin filled with new wine (Mt 9:17).
This doesn't mean that we have to have our lives all together before we receive the new wine of the Spirit. Rather, we need the Spirit to get our lives together. In our weakness and pain, the Spirit will be our Paraclete, our Helper and Comforter. However, to receive the new wine of the Spirit, we must have the new wineskin of a repentant heart. The Holy Spirit and sin don't mix. The Spirit flees deceit (Wis 1:5). The new wine of the Spirit will be poured into the wineskin of anyone, even a blasphemer and a persecutor (see 1 Tm 1:13; Acts 9:17), as soon as he repents and begins to let the Spirit change his life.
Prayer: Father, even if I'm as deceitful as Rebekah and Jacob (see Gn 27:5ff), may I repent and receive new life in the Spirit.
Promise: "May God give to you of the dew of the heavens and of the fertility of the earth." —Gn 27:28
Praise: "God Who is mighty has done great things for me, holy is His name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear Him" (Lk 1:49-50).
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Confession, or our tape on audio AV 44-3 or video V-44.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011
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