Then the disciples of John came to him with the question, “How is it, that we and the Pharisees fast on many occasions, but not your disciples?”
Jesus answered them, “How can you expect wedding guests to mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The time will come, when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then, they will fast.
No one patches an old coat with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for the patch will shrink and tear an even bigger hole in the coat. In the same way, you don’t put new wine into old wine skins. If you do, the wine skins will burst and the wine will be spilt. No, you put new wine into fresh skins; then both are preserved.”
Before Cardinal Prosper Lambertini became Pope Benedict XIV (1675-1758), he was commissioned by the current Pope to revise the outdated norms for the canonization of saints and to draw up new ones based on the common characteristics of past saints. The Cardinal studied the matter in depth and produced a two-volume outline of the new norms of canonization. Now the first third of the first volume is all about finding if the potential saint was joyful. If he or she was not outstandingly joyful, then there is no need to go any further: the candidate is simply not a canonizable saint.
Is this so very surprising? If God is Uncreated Joy, how can anybody close to him not be full of joy? All the saints were persons conspicuous for their sense of joy.
In today’s gospel reading Jesus explains why his disciples are not fasting. “How can you expect wedding guests to mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?” This is the explanation for the saints’ joy. They are so united to Jesus that, for all practical purposes, the Bridegroom is always with them.
All of us can experience constant joy. The secret for that is to choose Jesus once and for all.
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