Monday 8 June 2020

Saturday of Week 13 Year 2

In today’s Gospel we could see fasting in two different perspectives: The first perspective is that of John’s disciples and the second perspective is that of Jesus. According to the first perspective, fasting is viewed as an obligation, or something which has to be done, whether one likes it or not. This is why John's disciples questioned: “Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?" The second perspective, that of Jesus, tells us of a deeper meaning of fasting. Jesus responded to John's disciples by saying: “Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of mourning as long as the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then they will fast."

Jesus wanted to show to John's disciples that fasting is not merely a legal demand or done just to fulfil a law; instead it is a way of becoming closer to Him. In other words, we could come to an understanding that with Jesus, no fasting is necessary or needed; but away from Him, no amount of fasting suffices. When we fast just to follow the law, such fasting lacks merit and lacks meaning, whereas fasting by observing the spirit of the law brings fullness to our sacrifice, and guides us closer to Jesus. Perhaps we should re-examine our view of fasting and see whether it is something imposed on us or forced upon us, or an avenue and opportunity for us to restore and build our relationship with the Lord.

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