Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
In today's Gospel, the Pharisees accused Jesus’ disciples of not fasting regularly (which was the status quo at the time), which made them seem to be going against God’s will. But Jesus explains to them that the Old Law (the laws of the Jews) could not contain the New Law (the Gospel Message), just like an old wine-skin could not contain new wine. It wasn’t that the old wine-skin couldn’t hold any wine at all, either.
What Jesus was pointing out was that the old leather-type wine-skins had dried up and lost their elasticity. If someone tried to put new wine in, the wine would try to expand the wine-skin and it would burst it instead! But new wine-skins are able to expand and hold the new wine.
The message Jesus brought couldn’t be contained in the old laws of the Jews because Jesus came for more than just the Jews, and He came to do more than just what belong to the Old Law! Jesus was bringing in a new, unending law of salvation and love that fulfilled the promises of the old laws rather than be bound by them.
The status quo couldn't be maintained with Jesus in the picture.
There are a lot of parallels in this to modern-day. Many people still live with this “Old Law” mentality, where they say “This is our society’s way of doing things; why don't Christians get with the times?” Just like the Pharisees tried to tell Jesus’ disciples to follow the status quo, people tell Christians to do that every day in the 21st Century!
Have you ever had someone say to you, “If you’re really a Christian, you have to support this, or do this, or accept my decisions?” Then so many times what they’re doing ends up hurting themselves or others! People try to confine Jesus and our faith in him to the old wine-skins.
But the reality is simple- Christianity is the single most progressive truth that exists in our world. It’s so progressive that all too often people aren’t ready to hear it! But Jesus isn't the old, He is the new.
Society's status quo always fades away, but Jesus always stays with us and renews us. The status quo quickly ages like an old wine-skin and cannot continue the love and mercy of Christ. The new wine-skins that Jesus refers to is the new life that He offers as a covenant with you!
The fact that some people in our lives might be stuck in the mentality of trying to fit life and our faith into old wine-skins shouldn't discourage you from following the life that Jesus has in store for you!
You can't choose to follow the teachings of the world and still expect Christ to be able to do everything He wants to do in you. The world offers only a rigid, bleak container that can hold only very little love. But Christ paid the price to allow us to become new wine-skins and grow more and more with His grace.
Would you rather have more or less of God's love in your life? Living by the life of the world's status quo offers you only so much, but living by the life of Christ offers you abundance. In the end, whether you make yourself a new wine-skin or an old wine-skin is your own choice. Christ wants to pour out his love and mercy into you, so will you let Him?
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Would you rather have more or less of God's love in your life?
Are you more comfortable in your old way of doing things, preferring your old wine-skins, rather than being transformed into new wine-skins?
Can you take a step today to put off the old way of doing things in favor of something new that the Lord is calling you to do?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"I want to be made new."
"I'm ready for a heart transformation."
"Make me new."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Evaluate where you might be using an old wine-skin in your life and remove it. Maybe it's a rigid thought about what prayer time looks like or a group of friends you know aren't good for you.
Smartphone Lock Screen
The following image is here for you to save and use as a background or lock screen on your smartphone or device to help you carry today's Lectio Divina with you the rest of the day.
Today's prayer was prepared by Brendan Slovacek, a student at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.