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Master·evangeli.net

Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Friday 22nd in Ordinary Time

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Gospel text (Lk 5,33-39): Some people asked Jesus, «The disciples of John fast often and say long prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees. Why is it that your disciples eat and drink?». Then Jesus said to them, (…) new wine must be put into fresh skins (…)».

The "New Covenant"

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, facing the Pharisaic ritualism, the "new wine" brings us to the panorama of the "renewed" Covenant of God with men. Before Israel’s disloyalty, God reiterated the "Covenant", and finally, Christ sealed it in its "new" and "definitive" form. The Sinai Covenant was centered on two elements: 1. the "Blood Covenant" (the sacrificial blood from animals was sprinkled on the altar —God’s symbol— and on the people); 2. God’s word and the promise of Israel’s obedience.

This promise was broken by Israel’s "idolatry" and a number of repeated noncompliances, as shown in the Old Testament. The rupture seemed unavoidable when God sent His people into exile and the Temple was thrown open for destruction. But then, the hope of the "New Covenant" emerged, not based on the always fragile human loyalty, but on an inviolable obedience: that of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

—O Jesus, as a servant, You assume my disobedience in your "obedience unto death". Give me a "new" heart!

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