When is the last time you made a really huge change in your life—maybe you got married; had a baby; started a new job; moved to a new home; formed a healthy new habit? Did you notice that the change wasn’t just exciting, but also a complete re‐adjustment in the way you thought, acted, maybe even saw yourself? How did those changes change you?

On July 4, 2010, I quit smoking. I knew God was calling me for quite sometime to do it, but his persistence intensified as I neared that day. And thanks be to God that he did. In those initial weeks, I couldn’t believe how free I felt spiritually, mentally, physically. I would tell people that it felt like my mind was in hard drive, and I let so much of it be dedicated to smoking and everything tied to it. Having that space freed up was so liberating! I had to learn how to do certain things again, including recognizing the peace that comes from being fully present, whether I was driving, enjoying a long conversation, coping with stress, or even drinking a cup of coffee.

This experience came to mind when I was reflecting on today’s Gospel. Change is hard, even when it’s something you want to do. Being born again in his Image means that we have to “pour new wine into fresh wineskins” each and every day. How far are you willing to go? What is your old cloak or old wineskin? Are there any old habits you cling to, that keep you from following Jesus? Ask Jesus to help you start anew and rise with Him.

—Kristin Dillon is a lay minister who participates in Charis Ministries programs. She lives in Chicago with her husband and seven-month-old son.