THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
NEW WINE, NEW WINESKIN, NEW EVANGELIZATION
Today’s gospel: Matthew 9:14-17
People in Jesus’ time kept wine in wineskins. New wine
would continually be produced, but used wineskins would not
be recycled. New wineskins would be used. This was for practical
purposes. “People do not put new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins
are ruined.” (v.17a).
has been with us from the start of the Church on the day of
Pentecost. Through two millennia, the Church has been evangelizing,
using its methodologies, parish ministries, Church organizations
and movements. Let us look at all of these as the old wineskins.
Now the Church has been called by the Spirit to the New Evangelization.
This is the new wine. This new wine of the New Evangelization
cannot just be put in the old wineskins of current Church
programs, methodologies, ministries and organizations.
the New Evangelization is the new wine, what then would be
the new wineskin? What could contain the new wine and help
it to improve with age? What wineskin can contain the new
wine without bursting and wasting the new wine. How would
the new wine be wasted? It would be wasted if we only made
use of old wineskins, that is, all the current programs, ministries,
orgs, etc. This is what we have been doing for the past decades,
but we are losing Catholics by the day, and the Church is
weakening and getting smaller. Einstein defines “insanity”
as doing the same things over and over again but expecting
a different result. If we just do what we have been doing,
can we realistically hope to reverse the trend?
is why there is a need for a new wineskin, to accommodate
the new wine of the New Evangelization. So what is that new
wineskin? First, wine is wine and a wineskin is a wineskin.
Evangelization is 2,000 year old. The New Evangelization is
still evangelization. So we look at what worked. Evangelization
started on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came
down upon the disciples, and then Peter preached one sermon
and 3,000 people were converted. From then, the Church spread
rapidly and massively, and in a few centuries had converted
the whole known civilized world. The New Evangelization is
going back to the principles and methodologies of Pentecost.
That is the winning formula.
will make the difference for the New Evangelization (remember,
wine is wine and a wineskin is a wineskin) is the new wineskin.
Our evangelization today cannot be accomplished just by tapping
the present methodologies and doing the same things over and
again, what is that new wineskin? One new wineskin is LCSC.
Without expanding on it now [you will need to read the book
The Live Christ, Share Christ Movement (2nd Edition)],
LCSC puts aspects of wineskins together to make for a new
wineskin. These are:
vision for the New Evangelization.
A way for Catholics to become true Christians, by meeting,
living and sharing Christ.
A way to mainstream Catholic lay evangelization.
Engaging and empowering the laity in the mission of the
really massive evangelization, going to the grassroots and
peripheries, to reach the 99 lost sheep.
Looking to the spirituality and methodology of Pentecost.
Having a vision for parishes.
A way to respond to the call to holiness and authentic discipleship.
the whole Church, achieving unity in diversity.
The new wine is the New Evangelization. The new wineskin is
LCSC. “Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins,
and both are preserved.” (v.17b).