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New Wine

Last fall, I attended a day retreat that focused on Ignatian Spirituality and the practice of the Examen. In addition to going through the history of the prayer practice and the life of St. Ignatius, the retreat allowed for times of personal reflection. These types of events always seem to come at just the right time. God in his divine wisdom, knows exactly when we are overwhelmed and when we will need to take specific time to cultivate our personal and spiritual life amid our many responsibilities. The retreat was deeply calming and full of much important information. I specifically want to focus on a song that the retreat leader played during a time of reflection and quiet. It is a powerful song that is appropriate here as we wind down this Lenten season. It is called New Wine by Hillsong, here’s the link to listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbJaM_EneMw. The song is long and slow, I recommend listening with your eyes closed, letting the words wash over you. The lyrics are posted in bold below and I will insert some thoughts on various sections.

In the crushing
In the pressing
You are making
New wine

There are constant pressures that we face. Each of these are opportunities for God to push us to grow and change. Our life has been created by Him and he continues to mold us through all life’s experiences.

In the soil, I
Now surrender
You are breaking
New ground

We must surrender to God’s will for Him to be able to work in us. This can be so difficult to do but is necessary to be able to move forward towards Heaven, which is our ultimate goal.

So I yield to You and to Your careful hand
When I trust You I don’t need to understand

“Jesus, I trust in you.” We may have to utter these simple words many times in a given day to be able to turn to the Lord and give him the power to lead our lives. We often won’t- and don’t really need to – understand all that He is doing. We just need to be present and give him control. Sometimez easier said than done…

Make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be

We are God’s creation; our human bodies are the vessels that we steward. It’s important to remember that we’re made in God’s image and likeness and that we are each a temple of the Holy Spirit. So be gentle with yourself and with others; Jesus is present in each person. That is sacred.

I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me

All we have in our lives has been a gift from God. Gratitude is the prayer we must unceasingly turn back to God, to thank Him for everything He has given us. If we hope to grow and change, we must be willing to allow Jesus to work in us, mold us, giving thanks for each circumstance He leads us to and through.

In the crushing
In the pressing
You are making
New wine
In the soil, I
Now surrender
You are breaking
New ground (hey)
You are breaking
New ground

So make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be
I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me

‘Cause where there is new wine
There is new power
There is new freedom
And the kingdom is here
I lay down my old flames
To carry Your new fire today (oh today)

Where Jesus works, there is power that He brings and freedom that He gives. God has given us the gift of free will, and this is truly a gift. We have the power of Jesus within from our Baptism and as a member of the Body of Christ, we are a part of the Kingdom. We work to make the Kingdom of God visible here on Earth. We lay down our desires or goals often to be able to take up what He offers us.

‘Cause where there is new wine
There is new power
There is new freedom
And the kingdom is here
I lay down my old flames
To carry Your new fire today

So make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be
God, I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me
Jesus, bring new wine out of me

Each time that we attend Mass and experience the Eucharistic sacrifice, we can leave our burdens and our hearts at the altar with Jesus. We receive Him and He receives us, even now as we attend Mass virtually and make acts of spiritual communion.

The slow steadiness of this song is comforting to listen to, in the way that Jesus’ presence always with us is comforting. As the song builds to its crux in the chorus- Jesus, bring new wine out of me, we find ourselves begging Jesus to use us for his glory. We want to change and be different.

Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” // Matthew 9:17

The old cannot remain in us, we must constantly change and be ready to be stretched into something new. Even though it may be difficult or uncomfortable, we trust in God’s will and timing.

~Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert. // Isaiah 43:19

Much like new wine, God is always making things new (like this ministry is aptly titled ? ) and we can rest in the truth that we will never remain in a place for too long – except for eternal life in Heaven.

~But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. // 2 Corinthians 4:7

Closing Prayer: Dear Jesus, please bring new wine out of me. I surrender to Your power and presence, trusting that You are all Good. Help me to surrender joyfully to Your will and to trust You more and more. You are making me new, help me to lean in to that and grow with You. In your name, I pray. Amen.

Song credit: New Wine by Hillsong, written by Brooke Ligertwood, Hillsong Music Australia, 2018

Sara Caporaletti

Sara lives in Maryland and is an artist who works in arts administration in a few locations around Maryland. Her art is both 2D/3D and made in a variety of media. It focuses on aspects of personal identity and seeks to make connections with various parts of the Catholic faith. She enjoys reading, writing, and getting to experience God's glory in nature- especially while viewing a sunrise or walking along a forest path. Check out her website to see her art: https://www.saracaporaletti.com.

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