Forty-six years ago, Peter Allen released the song “Everything Old Is New Again” which provides a commentary on the entertainment business, which has a way of reinventing and recycling popular things from the past. We have seen this many times with “reboots” of old TV shows, remakes of classic films, or songs we know we have heard before. In today’s dominating consumer culture, everyone from retailers to entertainers looks for ways to get people to buy their product, even when it is something we had in the past.
What if, however, there was another way of looking at this phrase, “Everything old is new again?” What if we viewed it through the lens of our faith and the Death and Resurrection of Christ? This would bring an entirely new meaning to the same words. In the book of Revelation, John, when describing his vision, says, “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘behold, I make all things new’” (Rev. 21:5). Isn’t Christ’s promise, through the economy of salvation as the new Adam, to make all things new again as they were, before the fall of man in the Garden of Eden? It is an essential part of our faith to believe that everything old will one day be new again.
As we begin this new year, I have a challenge for you. Whether it is your commitment to your faith that may have begun to become lukewarm, your relationship to your spouse, siblings, children, or friends, or your determination to be an active instrument of God’s love in this world by your words and actions – take what is old and make it new again. You can think of yourself as going “green” not by looking for a new path in 2020, but instead recycling and reinventing the one from 2019, this time correcting course at the points you failed to properly navigate before.
Peter Allen also has another great line in his song which says, “Don’t throw your past away, you may need it some rainy day.” We all carry our past with us and can only move forward when we embrace it, learn from it, repent for it, and change our ways. St. Paul never ran away from his past and often reminds us that he once was Saul, a great sinner.
The recipe I have provided embodies two of the themes I have laid out here. Brussels sprouts were often something we rejected as children, so I invite you to try them again but in a new way. You will find that our recipe calls for holding onto the used oil from the bacon which you otherwise would throw away, in order to use it again and bring new life to the Brussels sprouts. Don’t throw your past away; you may need it some rainy day… “Dreams do come true my friend, when everything old is new again!”
MONSIGNOR JAMIE GIGANTIELLO is the vicar for development of the Diocese of Brooklyn and host of the NET TV cooking show Breaking Bread (Netny.tv/shows/breaking-bread) and pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel – Annunciation Parish, Brooklyn.
Apple Cider Vinegar Brussel Sprouts
This is a fantastic, simple side dish that goes great with a hearty winter meal! With a little sweet bacon and apple cider vinegar, it’s also a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables!
2 Tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 package bacon, diced
½ Lb. baby Brussels sprouts – cleaned and boiled for 8-10 minutes
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tsp. crushed red pepper
1 Tsp. black pepper
Place some olive oil in a pan, followed by the diced bacon, on medium to high heat. Cook the bacon until crispy.
Cut the Brussels sprouts in half.
When the bacon is crispy, remove the bacon and place it in a bowl, but leave the melted fat in the pan. Be sure to remove all the bacon bits or they will burn.
Put the Brussels sprouts in the pan on high flame to make the sprouts become crispy on the outside. Let them cook for 7-10 minutes.
Return the bacon to the pan and mix well.
Add sea salt, apple cider vinegar, crushed red pepper, and a little fresh ground black pepper.
Pour the sprouts and bacon into a nice dish, serve while hot, and enjoy!