Gospel: Mt 9:14-17
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.”
How is it, that we and the Pharisees fast on many occasions, but not your disciples? John the Baptist lived an ascetical life in the desert. His disciples asked Jesus why he and his disciples didn’t fast as much as they did. Jesus explained that his presence among them called for celebration and thanksgiving. Indeed, we do not fast and mortify ourselves in order to suffer. Suffering and pain are not ends in themselves. We fast and pray for the sake of higher values — in order to discipline our appetites, to express solidarity with the hungry and poor, to be one with Jesus who suffers out of love for us all.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018