“CAN THE WEDDING GUESTS FAST WHILE THE BRIDEGROOM IS WITH THEM?” MK 2:18-22
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast.
People came to Jesus and objected,
“Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them,
“Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?
As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.
But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast on that day.
No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak.
If he does, its fullness pulls away,
the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins,
and both the wine and the skins are ruined.
Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.” MK 2:18-22
According to the Scripture scholars in the Bible today, Jesus reveals that there is a new relationship of love between God and His people through His mission to His disciples. There is no point in fasting when Jesus is present. He has come to fulfill the prophecies and laws, to make the old new. “But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.” Fasting reminds us that we can control ourselves and to enter poverty in areas of our lives that are keeping us from Christ.
As disciples, Christ asks us to die to self/kill our ego so that we can make room for Him. This is so God’s grace can transform us. The saints and Doctors of the Church figured out that it was the primacy of grace in their lives that made them holy, not their efforts (“The Fulfillment of All Desire” by Ralph Martin). God alone is holy, He gives us His life in grace, God’s grace transforms us, not our effort.
Our effort comes in submission to God’s Will and bringing ourselves to the avenues of grace He has given us. There is one catch, we have to be all in! This is the faith journey, increasing our Fiat, little by little, to mirror Mary’s all in Fiat. God’s grace then begins to purify us and we recognize we are sinners, broken, and have crosses to carry. We invite Him into our sin and to be with us as we carry our crosses.
Finally, our peace and joy comes from gratitude for all God has done for us. He gave us life and we can do nothing without Him. Our lives are a gift meant to be given away in meaningful relationships. We begin to expect and embrace sin and suffering, but we know God is with us in it and He will never leave us. We begin to spend more time with Him, trust His Words, and fall in love with Him. We cannot wait to be with Him forever!
After we have filled our lives with material goods from Christmas, it is probably time to start thinking about fasting. The Catholic Church requires us to fast every Friday to remind us of what Christ went through for us. It is probably a good time to spend less time with a screen and more time with your family. If we are struggling with a specific sin/addiction, fasting is the greatest way to fight it.
If we can’t give up our phone for a day, how are we going to be obedient enough to do God’s will and get to heaven or fight the near occasion of sin. May God have mercy on us and may we help ourselves by fasting and being obedient. Obedience is the first step to holiness. Suffering, boredom, and hard will be waiting, but once we have overcome them the reward is joy, peace, self-control, modesty, chastity and gratitude for what Christ did for us. It is a long hard journey, but it fulfills the deep desire in your heart to be with God forever.
Today’s challenge: Accept the new relationship of love between God and us through Jesus. If you are unhappy in your life, fast if it is sin that is causing you grief, get off your screen time and spend time with humans so that you feel like you are contributing something to the world or work to feel a sense of accomplishment. Life is given to us to live not waste. Most importantly, go help someone, then you will forget about your own problems. It’s amazing how that works!
Be a servant, be a saint today!