Jesus and the Question of Fasting

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Reflection on the Gospel of the Saturday

Of The Thirteenth Week In Ordinary Time

Matthew 9:14-17

Before Jesus started his public ministry, John the Baptist came before him to announce his coming, because he was God’s Messiah, the Second Moses, the one to reconcile back with God, therefore the Baptist asked one and all to prepare themselves for Him. John prepared the Jewish people to keep fasting and mourn and repent from their sins. His disciples carried forward his practices in their waiting for the Messiah to come and redeem them. John saw the Messiah and witnessed to him among his disciples. Prominent among these John and Andrew, began following Jesus. Those who remained with John were curious why Jesus did not fast, a prominent practice of the time. So they inquired of Jesus, why his disciples did not fasting.

Before the coming of Jesus (Messiah), many prophets and people fasted and mourned for him with great expectation for the salvation he would bestow on all people of the world. John was in line with the tradition of the Old Testament Prophets, therefore he encouraged his disciples to keep fasting and mourning, whereas Jesus’ disciples were with Jesus Messiah, so there was no need of fasting and mourning, as the awaited messiah had been arrived, and they were with Him.

To understand this concept of fasting Jesus explained them in the form of parables, ie no one can put old wine in new wineskins and put old piece of cloth on a new garment. If this was so done, then the new cloth was damaged, as was the wineskin. Likewise, with Jesus (Messiah) the disciples in following old practices, did not realise the obstacle they were for them to fully understand and follow in the footsteps of Messiah.

Yes, friends in our lives very often we fail to enjoy the present moment and live in the present. We are tempted to look back to our life and get things mixed with the past and present and loose focus of the future. Today Jesus is asking each of us to leave our past life, past failures, and past mourning and focus on present things and live with the present to achieve our future goal 

Let’s us seek help from the Holy Spirit to live in the present moment happily and bear witness to Christ.

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