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1 Gospel verse to explain Church Tradition


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 07/28/22

Jesus proposes the ability to hold on simultaneously to old things and new things.

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“Then every scribe 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.”

I have always thought that this Gospel verse contains all the power of the Church’s Tradition. In fact, between those who imagine Tradition as a shell within which to hide from the precariousness of the world, and those who instead challenge Tradition thinking they can do without it, Jesus proposes the most correct solution, which is the ability to hold on simultaneously to old things and new things.

This concerns not only the Church, but every human experience. Indeed, sometimes we spend our lives only wanting to repeat what our parents and grandparents did, and other times we spend most of our time contesting every single thing we have been given. The truth, however, lies in the ability to be able to treasure belonging to a tradition while also having the courage to be ourselves, integrating new things into our lives and actions.

This is never painless, but we should not fear this conflict that arises from life itself; on the contrary, it’s precisely a sign of life. Today we are asked a decisive question: How do we relate to what we have received as tradition from others? And how much courage do we have to take responsibility for making new decisions?


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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