Saturday of 13th week, even numbered year Samedi de la 13e semaine, année paire

“Should the wedding feats guests fast whilst the Bridegroom is with them?”
Tuesday 12 April 2016

Am.9,11-15 Ps.84 Mt.9,14-17

Saturday of 13th week, even numbered year

“John the Baptist’s disciples came up to Jesus and said to him” Why do you disciples not fast, whereas we and the Pharisees do fast?"

Fasting was a necessary obligation, and at the same time fasting remained a discipline one would apply to oneself freely. Adults had to fast once a year on he feast of the ’Great Pardon’, but the Pharisees would fast twice a week.

In he Gospel it is a question of daily fasting to which everyone as free to subscribe to.

Jesus was a man of prayer and one who fasted regularly, but we see him defend his disciples who do not fast.

Jesus shows that fasting or any other spiritual practices only beneficial when adapted, in all freedom, to a new situation. The Word of God finds an echo in our hearts, edifying in us a new life coming from Jesus :’The bride follows the lamb wherever he goes’ says the Apocalypse.

Jesus comes to us in a suffering world. He ants that the number of elected be complete in the Kingdom of God! Humanity, God’s bride, is carried away in the path of trials and of darkness following her Beloved. Like him, she encounters ordeals. n the night of faith she knows anew kind of fasting, that of the absence of the Beloved :When the Bridegroom is no longer with her’, when Christ is crucified, the bride enters into ’grief’. It is a difficult time for the beloved who no longer ’feels’ the presence of the Loved One. The world, who doesn’t know the mystery of Jesus, cannot understand these words!

“Jesus replied’ Can the guests to the wedding feast fast whilst the Bridegroom is with them? A time will come when the Bridegroom will be taken away from them, then they will fast.”

Jesus clearly shows that our attitude only has value when it is willingly accomplished in freedom. The new Love proposed by Jesus is to be lived in the freedom of the children of God.

Jesus, during the Last Supper, prayed for the disciples would be one in Love and faith. This new freedom is applied to the Church that he founds in his Body and Blood.

As man progresses goes through stages of presence and joy, but also lacks and penitence. They are necessary so that a capacity to live can rise up in a different way, by receiving differently, by giving differently. A little like wine in wineskins.

Everything has to change in us, in our way of hearing things, of listening, and the way of speaking and replying.

The presence or absence of Jesus are going to make up construction of our new condition as a child of God. Enlightened by God’s Word, fortified by the Bread of Life, we enter into anew heart to heart with Jesus. It is a whole new life of love which is given to us. Like Jesus we become more and more delicate, attentive to those who are around us.

"Do not place new wine in old wineskins’ says Jesus.

The divine Life that ivies in us regenerates all we are, our person, right through to the end. This is how the question of purification is asked to us : "Why do your disciples not fats?’ The disciples of John the Baptist say.

Jesus replies : ’Can the wedding feast guests fast when the Bridegroom is with them?’

The bride shares the joy of the Bridegroom. In faith she is united to Jesus Bread of Life. She lives his Word in a mysterious manner, joining her bridegroom in a reat happiness.

“And no-one sews a piece of new cloth upon an old cloth ; for the peice that is added pulls on the garment and tears it even more. And one doesn’t place new wine in old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, the wine goes evertwhere and the wineskins are ruined. But one puts new wines into new wineskins and all of it is conserved.”

’Having loved his own, he loved them right to the end!’ He is going to give his Life on the Cross, he has given evrything. The bride, humanity follows himand shares her lot. The wedding is being prepared,in the steps of Jesus who is crucified and glorified.

We hve known how to leave the loss and dispair of the lack of Jesus so as to join teh msytery of God’s infinite Mercy. WE hae suffered and we refuse to fall down into non-meaning, and so, when Jesus si raised up, it is teh true fasting.

We are capable of receieving otehrwise the Word of God that is given to us. We enter into Jesus’ Promise which adresses itself to our liberty, in all freedom.

Jesu rconstructs his creature,his people,a d we are truely renewed. It is a deeper knowledge of the Mystery of the Word of God which is offered to us, one that is more true and more free.

Blessed are we to hear a true Word to which we can feely respond. This path has us speak in truth, for we are in the Presence of the Living God who makes us.

We ask for the grace to follow Jesus wherever He goes.

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