Jul 18, 2018
In Matthew 9:14, Jesus is asked why he and the apostles are not fasting like the Pharisees. Jesus points out that you don’t put new wine into into old wineskins as it will ferment and burst through the old wineskins and destroy them. You put new wine into new wineskins and preserve both. What is he talking about?
Jesus is bringing a new message. He is talking about a new covenant of salvation that can’t be contained within the structure of the Old Testament. The Pharisees are so hard-hearted they can’t receive the grace Jesus is offering. Even his own people in Nazareth rejected him and asked “who is he to teach them about faith.”
The one who sat on the throne (God himself) said “Behold I make all things new.” (Rev 21:5) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come. We need to be like the new wineskins to hold the saving grace of his message of eternal life close to our hearts. We are a part of the new creation.
Pope Francis, in a section of his book The Joy of the Gospel, says: “Christ is the Eternal Gospel. He is forever young and a constant source of newness. With this newness he is always able to renew our lives and our communities, and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness it will never grow old. He constantly amazes us by his divine creativity. New avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up with new meaning for today’s world.”
We ask “what’s new?” The answer is Jesus, who is eternal newness. The risen Christ is the true fountain of youth. He said whoever drinks the water I will give them will never thirst. Indeed the water I will give them will become in them a spring of living welling up to eternal life.”