Our Lord’s warning against putting new wine into old wine skins gives me an excuse for telling one of my old Korean stories.
The town of Yang Yang, my parish from 1954 to 1965 had market days on the fourth, ninth, fourteenth and , every fifth day through every month. Each market day the hill people who lived hand to mouth would show up with what they could gather and exchange for a little cooking oil. Like, they would bring in wax from wild bee hives, and rabbit hides, and bags of kittens
One market day my cook Joanna came up, telling me that the hill people hasd brought down bags and bags of wild grapes; so we decided we’d try making wine. Pulling the stems off great bunches of them, we filled an old washtub. After we danced on the grapes, we used our kitchen strainer to lift out the pulp.; and we were left with a half tub of grape juice that looked like muddy water.
Not hoping for much, we poured it all into a huge ceramic cask, and Joanna tied a cloth over the rim0 ;and we let it stand out in our dark store room.
Aftr a month, when our curiosity got the best of us, we untied the cloth from the top, but, looking in, there in the dark storeroom we couldn’t make anything out. So Joanna dipped into it with our chili dipper, and we bumped heads over seeing that cup filled with a clear red wine.
Joanna bought a dozen old bottles, and some new corks. Then we bottled gallons of our wine, hidng the bottles under the cot I slept on. Unfortunately, the fermentation wasn’t finished, and so I was awakened through the night by the bottles firing their corks into my thin mattress. Jesus was right about not putting new wine into old bottles.