February 20, 2015

Gospel MT 9:14-15
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.”
In today’s gospel, we see the contrast in the thinking of Jesus and other Jews.
To the devout Jew, fasting was an obligatory and solemn religious observance.
Yet, to Jesus and his disciples, being together and spreading the word of God was a time of great excitement and happiness.
Jesus was not saying we should not fast. He was saying, there is a time and place for everything.
An example would be when I gave up sweets for Lent.
Then, stopping by my Muslim friend’s house in the middle of their celebrating a joyous event, I am offered a piece of cake. Of course, I would accept a small slice of cake with a smile. Consideration and respect for others should take precedence over religious observances.
We should always do the loving thing as it pertains to our fellow man prior to paying homage to God.
In Matthew 5:24, Jesus said, “Leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
It is right to show repentance and gratitude through fasting, but God desires that first and foremost, we should: “Love one another!”