UNBORN WORD of the day

July 6, 2007, 11:51 pm
Filed under: The Incarnation


The Gospel reading today, Saturday, July 7, 2007, is from Mt 9:14-17. Jesus explains to His disciples that “People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst…”


He could have very well been speaking, of course, about His own Sacred Humanity which was all Holy and Wholly New at His conception. The above quote in our heading is from Ronald Knox’s book The Hidden Stream, and he is discussing the marvelous impact of the Incarnation upon humanity. God did not put the new wine of His redemption into an old wineskin, He instead became Incarnate. Cardinal Christoph Schonborn explains it well:



“Can we imagine a human existence that is free, from its inception, from implication in guilt? Can we imagine a life that is holy, sinless, right down to its roots? This is precisely what Jesus’ conception by the Spirit affirms…here is one man whose existence is entirely new, right from its root. In the midst of a world where anything new simply replaces something old, only to become old in its turn, there is now a new humanity, a human life which does not, at its conception, have the germ of death in it, but comes forth entirely out of God’s newness.” (from The Mystery of the Incarnation)



Vatican II comments: “Human nature, by the very fact that it was assumed, not absorbed, in him, has been raised in us also to a dignity beyond compare. For, by his incarnation, he, the son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man.” (The Church in the Modern World, #22) This is accomplished at the one-cell stage of His earthly life, for He is then, true God and true man.



So, at His conception, the Incarnate Word establishes in Himself a New Humanity that is fresh and free of sin, having the unique capacity to refresh, redeem and renew humanity. St. Paul sums it up perfectly: “…if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come” (II Cor 2:17) And Jesus sums it up, well, even more perfectly: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit…” (Jn 15:5) The new wineskin is then, a new Vine, and we are invited to abide in Him.

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