Dr. Denton Weiss on the Gift of Wine: Spiritual and Physical Health Benefits
'You make the grass grow for the cattle and plants for people's work to bring forth food from the earth, wine to gladden their hearts'
Wine has a significant role in our history.Like all of Gods' gifts - the "goods" of the earth - it is how wine is received and used which makes all the difference. A glass of red wine can open up the deeper truth that all of life is a gift. Receiving wine - and all of life - as a gift can set you on the road to beautiful living .Dr Denton Weiss, MD, addresses Wine's spiritual and physical health benefits.
Let me address the question I am regularly asked by my patients, does Red Wine actually have health benefits? The answer is 'Yes!'
PORTSMOUTH, VA (Catholic Online) - Wine has been at the center of human history, profoundly significant in both the Jewish and the Christian faith. From Noah to the Wedding at Cana to the Lord's Last Supper with his disciples, its importance is clear.
The Old Testament account of an encounter between Noah and his sons reveals the potential of wine for both good and for ill. "Now Noah, a man of soil, was the first to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of the wine he became drunk and lay naked in his tent." (Genesis 9: 20, 21).
Many of us, not proudly I might add, have indulged in a little too much fruit of the vine. As Proverbs 20:1 reminds us, Wine can become, when misused, a "strong mocker." However, the problem is not the wine, it is our lack of control and our inability to both understand and live moderation.
Wine is a gift, given to us by the Creator. It "makes the hearts of men merry" wrote the Psalmist. In Psalm 104 he sings his praises to God proclaiming, "You make the grass grow for the cattle and plants for people's work to bring forth food from the earth, wine to gladden their hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread to sustain the human heatr."
However, like all of Gods' gifts, the "goods" of the earth, it is how wine is received and used which makes all the difference. It is the abuse of the gift which causes the problem.
For example, the account of the interaction between Noah and his sons taught Noah some real lessons. The lesson was not only to drink less, but the incident revealed the flaw in the character of his sons.How they treated their father demonstrated to Noah how they would treat and therefore, lead God's people.
This gift of wine has implications - not only for our physical health but also for our spiritual growth and understanding our faith. It is a powerful symbol in Salvation history. Of course, its most profound use is when it becomes the very matter of the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist.
The God who created the fruit of the vine sent His Son into the world to begin the New Creation. Jesus, at the Last Supper, a Passover meal, chose wine to become the very matter of the Sacrament wherein He gives us His Body to eat and His Blood to drink.
St. Paul reminds the Corinthians that at the Eucharistic Altar the cup of blessing which we bless becomes "a participation in the Blood of Christ." (1 Cor. 10:16)
When we consider the Jewish Passover Feast and its fulfillment in the events of the Holy Week we celebrate as Christians, the beauty of wine and its deeper spiritual meaning is revealed.
Let me turn now to the Passover Seder meal as we consider the role of wine in the history of Israel and the Jewish Passover. There are four cups of red wine poured during the Seder meal. Understanding their meaning can help us to understand God's Love for His people.
During the four praises/toasts the rabbi, orthe head of the home, identifies each cup of wine with the fourfold promise of redemption: "God spoke to Moses: Tell the children of Israel: I will bring you out. I will rescue you. I will redeem you. I will take you for me as a people and I will be for you as a God." (Exodus 6:2-7).
The first cup of wine in the Seder is accompanied by a powerful blessing, the Kiddush.The Lord Jesus, the Rabbi of Rabbi's, gathered at the Passover Seder with his disciples. He began with the first cup of wine: "Blessed art thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hast created the fruit of the vine." The Apostle Luke records the event for us in His Gospel:
"Then they went off and found everything exactly as he had told them, and there they prepared the Passover. When the hour came, he took his place at table with the apostles. He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for, I tell you, I shall not eat it (again) until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God."
"Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; for I tell you (that) from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."(Luke 17:13 - 18)
The second cup of wine at the Sedermeal is a reminder of the joy that comes from the deliverance from Egypt. It reminds us of the deliverance Israel received by the Hand of God and the Ten Plagues placed upon the Egyptians because they refused to free God's people.
In order not to rejoice over the suffering of our enemies (Prov. 24:17), we spill a drop of wine (the symbol of joy) as the Ten Plagues are recited. Joy in the freedom God has given is to be coupled with a reminder of the suffering which accompanies disobedience. The Joy we experienced every Easter is forever connected with the suffering of Christ, ...
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