Sunday, May 19, 2013

Becoming New Wineskins

It has been awhile since I have been inspired to write anything here, and quite honestly I am not sure when I will post after this, but I did come across something in a reading from the Office of Readings yesterday that is appropriate as we celebrate the feast of Pentecost today.
The only information about the author of the reading is that it is from a sermon by a 6th century African author.
The sermon was speaking about the Church and how in its unity it speaks the languages of all nations. The author used the passage in Scripture that speaks of the disciples speaking in all different languages after they had received the Holy Spirit,  and he linked it with the Scripture passage about not putting old wine into new wineskins. Here is the excerpt from the sermon:
"...So when the disciple were heard speaking in all kinds of languages, some people were not far wrong in saying: They have been drinking too much new wine. The truth is that the disciples had now become fresh wineskins, renewed and made holy by grace. The new wine of the Holy Spirit filled them, so that their fervor brimmed over and they spoke in manifold languages."
Yes, they were truly drunk in the Spirit, and like them we too should be drunk in the Spirit that has made us holy by grace.
Pentecost is the birthday of our Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. The best birthday present we could give Christ and His Church on this feast is to celebrate what, and more specifically, Who unifies us despite the diversity of languages and cultures.
May our lives become the new wineskins filled with the new wine of the Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit and enliven in us Your gifts that we may bear their fruits in our lives to the benefit of our brothers and sisters, and to the greater glory of God.

Thoughts and comments welcome at The Front Porch.

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.