Human beings seem to be naturally conservative. What I mean by this is that they seem to prefer the status quo, that which they are used, than having to cope with big changes in their lives. Perhaps this is why the work of conversion in our lives can be so slow and difficult.

In today’s Gospel, Mark reminds us that the Gospel is designed to bring about a new work in our lives. This necessarily means that we will have to turn away from the old ways of living our lives and embrace the new ways of the Spirit as He leads us along the path of growth in holiness. The image of new wine skins for new wine used in the Gospel further emphasizes this in that if new wine is placed in a dry and used leather skin, there is a large possibility that it will burst the skin and the wine will be wasted.

The work of the Holy Spirit is like this in our lives. The structure of our lives previous to His work is not able to cope with the necessary demands that living according to the will of God rather than our own will or the dictates of the world. This is why we must open our minds to the necessity of change. This is what we mean by conversion and living a renewed life. If there is no change occurring in our lives then there is probably something wrong in our lives that is hampering the work of the Holy Spirit. More often than not this is usually an old pattern of sin that we have become comfortable with and are refusing to allow the Spirit to remove from our lives!

In order to go forward in our relationship with God it will be necessary for us to surrender this sin to His healing grace and allow the Holy Spirit to replace it with a practice of virtue rather than a vice. Let us always pray for the grace to be open to the renewing work of the Spirit in our lives so that we will progress along the path of holiness.

Are there any practices of sin that I have become comfortable with present in my life? If there is one or even many, what am I going to do about it/them? Is the desire for conversion in my life great enough in order that I will surrender all my patterns of sin to the Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

Come Holy Spirit and renew my life according to the mind, heart and will of God. Help me to embrace His will for my life no matter what it involves and grant me the grace to surrender all patterns of sin to Him so that I will be able to grow in holiness.