Friday, February 12, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 9:14-15

Friday after Ash Wednesday – Matthew 9:14-15

This is another very short Gospel reading.  Today John’s disciples come to Jesus and ask him why he and his disciples don’t fast as John and the Pharisees do.  Jesus does not answer their question directly.  Rather he uses the metaphor of a wedding.  Jesus tells them that at a wedding, the guests do not mourn will the bridegroom is still in their presence.  The time for fasting is when the bridegroom is taken away. 

Perhaps Jesus is speaking of fasting as a way of mourning.  Most often when we think of fasting, we equate it with giving up something.  It might be choosing not to snack during the day or adding a spiritual discipline to our day.  Perhaps we take more time for prayer or we strive to be kinder and more loving with everyone we encounter (including those who get on our nerves).  Not all of these are ways of mourning but they are good disciplines and perhaps challenges for us. 

We all realize that it is easy to make Lenten resolutions, but it is not as easy to keep them. The gift is that each morning we have another day to make the effort.  What will we choose today?

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