July 7, 2018

“People do not put new wine into old wineskins.” Jesus had a homely way of getting his point across. When Matthew inserted it in this gospel passage he was making the further point that Christianity is the new wine. We have here a striking statement about the creative fermentation of Jesus’ teaching. In a number of ways it is incompatible with a number of practices that were part and parcel of Jewish practice. Circumcision is perhaps the clearest example of this. The church is not simply a patch on the old garment of Judaism, it is an entirely new garment.

There is a lot of comfort in old clothes. And as Luke notes in regard to this passage, “No one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘the old is good’” (Lk 5:39). We notice the same thing within the church today. There is a hankering for older liturgical forms, and many of the changes wrought by Vatican II were resisted because they were “new.” The same is sometimes true of our spiritual lives. We can easily succumb to inertia and fail to grow spiritually as we age.

Father Eymard always strove to grow and deepen his relationship to Jesus. He scrupulously examined his conscience each day and his retreat notes show how he was unsatisfied with many aspects of his spiritual life. He saw Mass and communion as providing the strength and inspiration needed to ever grow in our love and service of Christ. For that reason he encouraged frequent communion as the quickest way to grow close to the Lord.

How have I grown in my understanding of faith and in putting it into practice?

Let Us Pray:

Lord, help me to take my faith more seriously, to deepen my knowledge of you and your teaching by reading Scripture regularly and familiarizing myself with the teachings of the church.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.