Old and new
who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven
is like the head of a household
who brings from his storeroom
both the new and the old.
This saying seems to apply perfectly to the recent Motu Proprio by Pope Benedict XVI liberalizing the use of the older form of the Mass.
We would do well to take this saying of our Lord as an encouragement for us to set aside any prejudices or bad experiences we may have had and to look with fresh eyes upon the form of the Mass we do not like so much (either the older or the newer): asking the Holy Spirit to help us go beyond the particular aspects of that other form that may sometimes drive us crazy and to appreciate the treasures of that form – old or new.
Of course, this saying of our Lord is primarily associated with the relationship of the Old and New Covenants: a relationship that became the focus of some criticism of the Motu Proprio, since the Good Friday Liturgy in the Mass of Blessed John XXIII is very explicit about the need for conversion on the part of the Jewish people.
News flash: you and I – devout Jews, faithful Christians, or whatever - need conversion too. Indeed, we can easily put ourselves in this prayer.
Let us pray also for (ourselves) that the Lord our God may take the veil from (our) hearts and that (we) may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ.
[Let us pray. Let us kneel. Arise.]
Almighty and everlasting God, you who do not turn away (us) also from your mercy: hear the prayers which we offer for the blindness of (this) people so that, the light of your truth which is Christ being known, (we) might come out of (our) darkness. Through our Lord the same Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
We would do well to take our Lord’s saying as an encouragement for us to look again with respect upon the Jewish people and upon their great deposit of faith, so that we may deepen our understanding of the fulfillment of that faith through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Through the old and the new, may we grow deeper in the grace of Christ.