(A couple’s perspective)

This is a great gospel passage for the beginning of not only the new Church year but also the calendar year! We all want to have new wineskins in which to pour the wine of 2014—God willing, it’s all good things. But given what we know of life, difficult experiences are all part of the ‘new’, too.

Is this what Jesus is saying to us all? Yes, in part. But I think Jesus is also trying to comfort us by saying that if we reverence each new experience, it will become part of us and shape us; literally, it will give us new skin. I believe this gospel invites us to live in the now, as fully as we are able. I will try to remember that I am creating “new skin” during these long days of parenting young children and being a good friend to my husband.

— Carrie Nantais

Last year brought several new blessings to my life—a new baby, a new employee, a new course to teach and new friendships. It is too easy in my busy life to under-appreciate just how amazing all of these new blessings are to me. I feel invited to savor these and all of the blessings I receive in 2014. Instead of gobbling them up like a frozen dinner before an appointment, I want to chew on them, taste their succulence and enjoy!

I hope that through reflection and appreciation that the sense of grace from these blessings will settle more deeply in my heart and allow me to live in them, love them, and be ever more grateful for them.

For reflection:

What circumstance or event in your life is ‘new skin’? How might Jesus be calling to you to embrace this experience?

— David Nantais ( Carrie and David live in the city of Detroit with their two sons, Liam (almost 4 years) and Theo (5 ½ months). They are both at the University of Detroit Mercy—David as Director of University Ministry and Carrie as a PhD student in Clinical Psychology. They have been married for 5 ½ years.