Sunday, October 09, 2005

Bad Wine Is Profane

So in John Chapter 2 - the "Water into Wine" Gospel - the bouncer stops Jesus and his entourage, because they didn't bring any wine. Jesus was a bit miffed that his Mom forget to pack the wine. He turns 6 pitchers of water into wine. Good stuff, at that.

Not a whole lot of messy ingredients involved in this wine. Water, just add Jesus.

Catholic Law - Canon Law - has the doctrine of Transubstantiation to deal with. (More on that little doctrine, later.) What wine is worthy of representing the blood of the savior in this weekly part of the Mass?

Canon Law - Part I, Title II, Chapter 1, Article III, lays down the law about communion wine (also altar wine, or sacramental wine):

Can. 924

1. The most holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist must be celebrated in bread, and in wine to which a small quantity of water is to be added.

2. The bread must be wheaten only, and recently made, so that there is no danger of corruption.

3. The wine must be natural, made from grapes of the vine, and not corrupt.

Canon Law came long after Jesus. Would Jesus agree that wine must be natural, from grapes, and pure/not corrupt? I think he'd be OK with it.

924 is a sound canon. Not every winemaker can be the King of Kings, so making natural pure juice is a good back-up rule for mere mortals.

St. Paul chimed in, too. In his First Letter to the Corinthians - part of which you hear at every wedding! - he wrote:

"Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord." I Corinthians 11:27
"Profaning the body and blood of the Lord?" Wow. I thought bad wine just made for a worse hangover.

So drink good wine, or you will profane the Lord, and yourself (according to I Corinthians 11:29).


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