The old and the new

Today in Luke’s Gospel (5: 33-39) we hear the parable of the old and new cloth and the wineskins.

Fr Paul says the Gospel today focusses on fasting and the question being discussed in it is ‘Should the disciples of Jesus accept and live out the religious observances and practices of the time as both John’s and the Pharisees disciples were doing?’

For the writer of Luke’s Gospel the answer is no.   The writer is more interested in the new situation that is occurring, the new teaching of Jesus.  That’s why we hear in Jesus’ parables that:

  • you cannot make wedding guests fast, they are there for the feast.
  • there is no point cutting and spoiling new cloth because the old and new simply do not go together.
  • we hear about drinking the old wine, those who drink the old wine do not want to drink the new.

For the writer of Luke there is no point attempting to bring old and new together.

For our reflection today Fr Paul says we might ask ourselves, ‘Is there something within me that I am holding onto simply because of social convention or empty ritual, rather than hanging onto something that is based on eternal truths?’