In Today’s Gospel (Luke 5:33-39) Jesus is questioned why his disciples do not fast and pray as do the disciples of the Pharisees and John the Baptist. Jesus refers to himself as the Bridegroom, in whose presence the disciples rejoice; eating and drinking. (A reference to Eucharist, where we eat the Body of Christ and drink the Blood of Christ.)
We as the disciples are to find our joy in Christ. We are to find our true nourishment in the sacraments, especially the Body and Blood of Christ. The Eucharist is our true communion with Christ, who as the Bridegroom takes us to himself.
Jesus goes on to tell a parable, in which he speaks of the senselessness in patching an old cloak by tearing a piece from a new one. To do so would only ruin the new cloak to provide something that does not match the old. Given that this parable follows and immediate discussion regarding himself, we can conclude that he is the new cloak and his presence has everything to do with the old cloak (the old covenant.)
Jesus speaks also of new and old wine and the skins that hold the wine, both new and old skins. He wisely knows that new wine is not put into old skins, otherwise the skin will burst, thus ruining the old skin and losing the new wine. New wine must be poured into fresh skins. Again, Jesus is proclaiming that his presence is ushering in a New Covenant. One that respects the Old Covenant, not replacing it, but making it new, allowing the Old Covenant to reach its fullness in him.
Jesus concludes his parable by recognizing that people prefer old wine to new. However, as in the miracle at Cana, this New Covenant which he inaugurates is a wine far greater than what has previously been experienced. The new wine is the best wine, saved for last. (John 2:10) Again, Jesus does not come to repair or replace the Old Covenant; he is its fulfillment! The old wine is not lost, rather it is completed in the New Covenant.
Jesus is the fullness! Today’s first reading is a hymn to the preeminence of Christ. (Colossians 1:15-29) “Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For in him were created all things…He is before all things…He is the head of the Body, the Church. For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell.”
Christ and his Church are one. As the Bridegroom, he has taken us to himself. The Church then knows no reverse – She is ever new – ever fresh – always moving forward – into the fullness of Christ – the fullness of God’s Kingdom. She is the Dawn from on high (Luke 1:78) – the fresh light of a new, a perfect and never ending day – shedding light – giving light for our path.
In Christ, the Light of the Rainbow, the sign of a former covenant (Genesis 9:13) always completes its arc in the human heart – filling us with the richness of God. In the New Covenant, we feast upon the New Wine, the Blood poured out from the heart of Christ. As God always honored the former covenants, always moving them toward their fullness and completion in Christ, so he honors each of us, granting us every possible opportunity to recognize His presence in Christ, allowing us to find our fullness in Christ.
Let us drink this New Wine that is Christ. Let us walk always in his Light. Allow Christ to fill us with his richness. Let us live each day in Christ, in and through his Church; always young, always new, ever closer to the Kingdom of God.