New Wine and Fresh Wineskins

On December 12, 2020, I gave my life to God.  Again.

Reflecting upon this realization that I was promising to do God’s will, not my own, yet another time in my life, I wanted to consciously be active in this dedication. In the past, I have said the same words of promise to God, then gone home from the retreat, the conference, the Mass, and continued my life. MY life, not His. 

In today’s Gospel, we read:  “No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.” (Mark 21-22)

Similarly, I cannot continue to pour my renewed devotion to God into the same wineskin. I cannot continue my ways. I cannot act as though this miraculous, beautiful moment of encounter with the Lord does not require complete change. Instead, I must pour myself into a new wineskin. A new way of holding and presenting myself. 

I often recall Pope Francis’ call to the millions of youth gathered in Poland at World Youth Day 2016 as he said, “The times we live in require only active players on the field, and there is no room for those who sit on the bench. Today’s world demands that you be a protagonist of history because life is always beautiful when we choose to live it fully, when we choose to leave a mark.”

Therefore, I cannot sit still. I cannot continue down the same worn path, the same unenthusiastic living. It’s unauthentic. It is not actively living God’s will. It is selfishly hiding and hoarding the joy that I have been given. 

I ask you, my brother or sister, are you celebrating new wine? Are you placing your new wine in the new wineskins of new joy, new practices, new selves? Where are you placing your new wine? 

Read Pope Francis’ World Youth Day 2016 message in full by clicking here or watch the video by clicking here.

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Veronica Alvarado is a born and raised Texan currently living in Michigan. Since graduating from Texas A&M University, Veronica has published various articles in the Catholic Diocese of Austin’s official newspaper, the Catholic Spirit, and other local publications. She now works as the Content Specialist in Diocesan’s Web Department.

Feature Image Credit: Kym Ellis,