Ps 135:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6
Praise the Lord for the Lord is good!
Psalter: Week 4 / (Green/White)
Memorial of Blessed Virgin Mary
1st Reading: Gen 27:1-5, 15-29
When Isaac was old and his eyes so weak that he could no longer see, he called Esau, his older son, and said to him, “My son.” “Here I am,” he answered. Isaac continued, “You see I am old and I don’t know when I shall die; so take your weapons, your bow and arrow, go out into the country and hunt some game for me. Then prepare some of the savory food I like and bring it to me so that I may eat and give you my blessing before I die.”
Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau went into the country to hunt game and bring it back.
Then Rebekah took the best clothes of her elder son Esau that she had in the house and put them on Jacob, her younger son. With the goatskin she covered his hands and the smooth part of his neck, and she handed to him the bread and food she had prepared.
He went to his father and said, “Father!” He answered, “Yes, my son, who is it?” and Jacob said to his father, “It is Esau, your firstborn; I have done what you told me to do. Come, sit up and eat my game so that you may give me your blessing.” Isa ac said, “How quick you have been my son!” Jacob said, “Yahweh, your God, guided me.” Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near and let me feel you, my son, and know that it is you, Esau my son, or not.”
When Jacob drew near to Isaac, his father felt him and said, “The voice is the voice of Jacob but the hands are the hands of Esau.” He did not recognize him, for his hands were hairy like the hands of Esau his brother and so he blessed him. He asked, “Are you really my son Esau?” and Jacob answered, “I am.” Isaac said, “Bring me some of your game, my son, so that I may eat and give you my blessing.” So Jacob brought it to him and he ate. And he brought him wine and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” So Jacob came near and kissed him.
Isaac then caught the smell of his clothes and blessed him, saying, “The smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed. May God give you of the dew of heaven; and of the richness of the earth; and abundance of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you and nations bow down before you. Be lord over your brothers, and let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone that curses you and blessed be everyone that blesses you!”
Gospel: Mt 9:14-17
Then the disciples of John came to him with the question, “How is it, that we and the Pharisees fast on many occasions, but not your disciples?“
Jesus answered them, “How can you expect wedding guests to mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The time will come, when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then, they will fast.
“No one patches an old coat with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for the patch will shrink and tear an even bigger hole in the coat. In the same way, you don’t put new wine into old wine skins. If you do, the wine skins will burst and the wine will be spilt. No, you put new wine into fresh skins; then both are preserved.“
John’s disciples were puzzled by the fact that Jesus and his disciples did not observe the laws of fasting in order to hasten the coming of the Kingdom of God. Little did they realize that the coming of Jesus marked the beginning of a new era in Israel. The longed-for Messiah has finally arrived. Fasting as a sign of hungering and preparing for his coming has become superfluous. It was no longer necessary. Now is the time of rejoicing.
Jesus’ statement about “new wine in new wineskins“ is equally puzzling. While the literal meaning is obvious, the symbolic is not. It seems that by this expression the Lord asks his disciples to forsake their worldly ways and live by the Spirit of Truth. The “old wineskin“ of their sinful past is incompatible with the newness and vitality of their life in Christ. The new life they have received in Christ is what the Lord describes in the gospel as “new wine“-a precious gift freely and generously given. Jesus’ disciples are to leave behind their old way of sin and embrace their new identity as children of the Heavenly Father.
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Biblical Texts are taken from Christian Community Bible, Catholic Pastoral Edition (57th Edition) The New English Translation for the ROMAN MISSAL
With permission from the EPISCOPAL COMMISION ON LITURGY of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
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