Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The old is good

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new; for he says, "The old is good."
 -- Luke 5:37-39
The new wine is Christ. The new skin is the Catholic Church which Christ established with St. Peter as the first Pope.

Christ is speaking here of the new covenant with the people of God.

The wine is the blood of Christ. It is the new sacrifice -- the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

The temple in Jerusalem cannot hold the new wine of Christ. As He prophesied those who wished to turn the Messiah, the Son of God, into an earthly king of the Hebrew people ended up destroying both the Messiah and the Temple. Christ was crucified; the Temple was reduced to rubble.

And yet Christ concludes by saying "The old is good."

Christ does not destroy the old covenant but rather reveals its full truth and glory. He is both the new wine -- the Messiah -- and the old wine. How is this possible? Through the mystery of the Trinity -- the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

There is also a message here for the Church of today. Now, 2000 years after the birth of Christ, is not the time for a "new skin" -- a new Church. We have seen that whenever Christians attempt to create a new church as the Protestants did that confusion arises and eventually that new church crumbles.

Christ proclaims that "The old is good." The Catholic Church preserves the rich heritage of the Old Testament and the early Christians. Through the centuries the Holy Spirit has guided the Church and she has grown and matured.

This is our rich inheritance and we would be fools to toss this aside in favor of some worthless novelties.

As the Church prepares to select a new Pope, let us pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Now more than ever we need a Church that is rooted in tradition and which is unafraid to proclaim the full truth of the Gospel of Christ to the world.

And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013

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