Saturday 14 March 2015 — Latest update Sunday 8 January 2017

08 Friday after Ash Wednesday Vendredi après les Cendres :

Is. 58. 1-9 Ps. 50 Mt. 9. 14-15

Friday after Ash Wednesday “Surely the bridegroom’s attendants cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is still with them?” Is.58 1-9 Ps.50 Mt.9 14-15 “Then John’s disciples came to him and said ’ Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?” In the first Covenant God’s people was considered as his bride, and Yahve was to come to it as the Bridegroom.  Jesus, Son of God, came amongst his own as the Beloved. But God’s people can’t imagine how God can expect anything other than offerings and sacrifice. This is how it loves the Sovereign God of Heaven. Yet God said ’: It is mercy I like, sincere Love and not sacrifices. Thus God’s Love is united, linked to the attitude o openness and generosity of heart in its dealings with its brothers. Jesus, son of God, came amongst mankind, taking up again the link of God’s Covenant in the Love and concern for the brothers : ’It is mercy I like, not sacrifices’. God’s People could n’t imagine that God loved them to such an extent They can only understand it if they place themselves in an attitude of adoration. Jesus, Bridegroom of his people, wants to awaken all the capacities of love hidden in the heart of his bride. He touches and heals in this way wounded humanity. The human heart is bearer of suffering, blockages and brokenness and has to be frred so as to enter into he Wedding feast of the Lamb.     “Jesus answered them ’”Surely the bridegroom’s attendants cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is still with them?" Jesus introduces himself as the Bridegroom, God’s Tenderness envelops us through Him. It is good to be close to the One who makes us rise up from ou being, tenderness comes from God when we look at it in its depth. Jesus manifests how good God is, he makes our face blossom again. Seeing Him, our God, we shall be like Him, says te apostle John. Yet we are awaiting the blessed vision and we still need to be purified. ’ A time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away’ says Jesus. This ’taking away’ of the Bridegroom of the beloved, has very various expressions. : when Lazarus is sick his sisters cry and go to see Jesus ’The one whom you love is sick.’ But Jesus stays outside to form his apostles to true life. They will enter , in his absence into a true ’fasting’! Jesus leads them into a perspective of a resurrection from the dead! Martha and Mary will say how much they have suffered form Jesus’ absence : ’Lord if you had been there my brother wouldn’t have died.’ In Lazarus’ rising from the dead they are going to notice the true action of Jesus, the reason why he is late. He is the resurrection and Life! Mother Teresa lived a great part of her life in spiritual dryness, yet she went to help the poorest of the poor, the dying.   “But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” We are on earth and the bridegroom is taken away to Heaven by his Passion and his Ascension. The time of fasting really is here! But the poor are always with us they reveal to us that we can serve Jesus in the tiny little ones : ’Al that you do to my smallest ones, it is to me that you do it." Fasting is completely transformed, it is spoken about in the Word of this day as a great fecundity! We find it in the night of faith, following Jesus, waiting for Heaven! The woman who had touched Jesus’ cloak had been healed before Jesus had spoken a word to her that had set her free! When she will see Jesus go through his Passion she will understand the source of this new Life which had been given to her. When eth centurion’s daughter had been risen from the dead Jesus didn’t show his sovereign power as the Son of God, he remained in a state of humility. We too remain in a state of humility, making the most of this time of enlightenment and joy which the wedding feast announces! This new fast is revealed in a great spiritual intensity, in God’s love, lived in the night of faith, e place ourselves in the service of others too, for the love of our sisters and brothers is the sign of God’s love acting within us. On earth we live this mystery in the night of faith, which bears in it a great fecundity. We ask for the grace to hear the Word of God and to be renewed in the Tenderness of our God.

Week 00 of Lent: Friday after Ash Wednesday

Then John’s disciples came to him and said: “’ Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?”

Already in the first Covenant, God’s people was considered as the bride and Yahweh was to come as its bridegroom. It is quite obvious that Jesus is conscious of being the Son of God me in the midst of mankind. He takes up the passage : ’It is mercy I desire, not sacrifices.’

The prophet Hosea speaks to a people that who had always been offering up sacrifices programmed by customs and traditional feasts, but they had never imagined that God could expect anything else from His faithful people.It would be quite incapable of loving the Sovereign Lord of Heaven, trusting solely in the mercy of God alone, but he does try to love with a sincere love. For Jesus, this capacity to love God whom we cannot see, is part of an attitude ever-present to Him, made up of open mindedness, generosity of heart, thanks to which we are not in a hurry to judge our neighbor when his attitude disconcerts us.(Here it is a question of fasting), rather, he seeks to understand by putting himself in the other’s shoes. Jesus presents himself as the bridegroom and we can understand how in this context it is not the time for fasting. The Tenderness of God envelops us, it is right to be close to the One who looks at our being in its depths and has our life surge forth in faith and hope and love. He, Jesus, the Bridegroom of the people, wishes to awaken all the capacities of love that are in the heart of his bride : humanity. Jesus touches and heals our wounded humanity ,for indeed, the human heart bears so much suffering, blockages and brokenness.

“The bridegroom’s attendants cannot fast as long as the bridegroom is with them.”

Jesus presents Himself as the Bridegroom, God’s tenderness envelops his depths, has this tenderness rise forth from our own being. Jesus manifests just how good Jesus is by causing our countenance to blossom. The apostle John says that when we see God we shall be like Him. Despite the night of faith, Jesus manifests how good God is. However ,we are waiting for the beatific vision and we still need to be purified. “A time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away,” said Jesus. This taking away of the bridegroom , the beloved, takes on many different expressions. When Lazarus is sick, his sisters are crying for him and they go and tell Jesus about it. “The one whom you love is sick.” They are going to enter into real fast! for Jesus remains outside, forming his apostles for the real Life! He has them enter into the perspective of the resurrection of the dead! Martha and Mary will say how much they have suffered from Jesus ’ absence : “Lord, if you had been there, my brother would not have died!” In the Resurrection of Lazarus, they are going to see how the real action of Jesus is at work and why he was late in coming. He is the Resurrection and the Life! On earth we live tis mystery in the night of faith, which bears in itself a true fecundity.

“But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away form them and then they will fast.”

We are on earth and the Bridegroom has been taken up into Heaven.The poor will always be with us, revealing to us that we can always serve Jesus in the tiny little ones : ’Everything you will have done to the least of my brothers, it is to me you have done it.’ The time of fasting really is here, totally transformed, announced in today’s Word as of having great fecundity! We find it in the night of faith, following Jesus, whilst awaiting Heaven!

The Gospel has us contemplate the woman who touched Jesus’ cloak, she was healed even before Jesus said a freeing word to her! When Jesus will go through the Passion, she will understand the source of this new life given to her. When the centurion’s daughter was healed, Jesus didn’t show his sovereign power as the Son of God, he remained in humility. We too remain in humility, making the most of the times of illumination and joy that the wedding feast announces!

The time of fasting by prophets is found in the Gospel word and is totally transformed! We are on earth and the bridegroom is taken up to heaven. We find him again in the night of faith, as we wait for heaven! We must make the most of this time which is not contradictory to periods of illumination or of joy. In the Love of God, lived out in the night of faith, we are at the service of others for love of our brothers is the sign of the love of God within us.Theis new fast is revealed in great spiritual intensity.

We ask for the grace to hear the Word of God and to be renewed by the Tenderness of our God.