8th Sunday Ordinary Time - Year B
I WILL TAKE YOU FOR MY WIFE
Hosea is sometimes called the "Prophet of Divine Love." He was the first person in the Bible to speak of God's relationship with his believers in terms of human physical love. The faithful are invited to more than a Master (a translation of the Hebrew word "Baal") and Slave condition with God. The Lord wants to espouse or wed us in a deeply personal interaction. He gives himself totally to us in a faithful bond.
OLD WINE SKINS
Bottles were expensive and fragile in Biblical times. Wine was the common beverage. Its storage hinged on one important factor. During the change from grape juice into an alcoholic beverage, fermentation takes place. This produces carbon dioxide gas. It would shatter most containers used at the time. The optimal method was to store new wine in bags--usually made from goat skin. The fresh skins were flexible and could stretch with as the wine aged. Eventually the goat skins would dry out and become brittle, but by this time the fermentation had slowed. It would be foolish to put new wine into old goat skins because they would crack and spill the beverage.
Jesus is teaching a new religious faith. He says that it requires a totally different outlook from the mechanical religious practices of the Old Testament. Christianity cannot be done by rote--it must come from the heart.
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