Gospel – 7/4/20 – Matthew 9:14-17
The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.
No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth,
for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse.
People do not put new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined.
Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”
I like today’s Gospel. It’s like life imitating art.
The Jewish people were very aware of the need for fasting. It helped to remember to pray, remember the good times and to clear your mind. It helped to remember those less fortunate.
John the Baptist is the lone voice calling to all to “Prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight his path.”
And yet today, it is John’s disciples that are putting impediments in the way of the Lord.
John announced it, Jesus was the “It” that he announced.
So, Jesus gently rebukes them saying no one fasts at a wedding – they celebrate. You don’t use new cloth on an old cloak without preparing it. And you didn’t continue to use old wine skins.
Jesus coming into the world changed the old ways. This was “new” and the people should celebrate while was here. Because, as he said, the “bridegroom” (Jesus) would not always be here.
Fast if it helps. The Catholic faith does during the season of Lent. It is to remind us that we fail quite often. It is to prepare us for the coming Feast of Easter and the arrival of the bridegroom.
We should fast for the right reasons. Not just because that’s what we’ve always done.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…