Mark 2:21-22 “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.”
This is a call to conversion. And for recovered or recovering alcoholics an interesting one to consider what with the wine metaphor.
Nevertheless, as alcoholics who seek out the message of Christ as revealed through the Bible and His Church, we are the new wineskins. We now receive the message of Christ that we didn’t hear before, or heard somewhat disconnectedly. We cannot receive as our old selves, we have to cast off that old cloak, that old wineskin if we are to receive.
We may initially use the 12 Steps of AA to identify what was wrong or flawed before, and then rid ourselves of our defects, either through prayer and meditation or through effective work with the Steps and with other alcoholics. Nevertheless, after a fashion we stand ready to take the Gospel and live it as we did not previously.
Whereas before we loved alcohol and sought its charms in relieving us of our troubles, we now turn instead to Christ and His Church and use them as our refuge. We no longer run from our troubles and towards the bottle to feel better, we instead run to Jesus and the sacraments with our troubles to find relief.
We react to things as Christians, and not as frightened beings, unable to deal effectively with our lives. The new wine transforms us.
This takes time, but the journey helps us to know ourselves much more intimately than we otherwise could.