Gospel Reflection – Friday (19 February) – Friday after Ash Wednesday THE DISCIPLES & FASTING
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (9: 14-15) in which Jesus is questioned about why the Pharisees fast but his disciples do not.
Fr Paul says the Gospel we’ve heard today can be a bit puzzling because it seems to say that fasting is not to be done as we begin Lent. We know that the Pharisees observed the Law very strictly and they fasted regularly but obviously Jesus did not. They ask Jesus ‘Why not?’ and he introduces the beautiful image of a wedding feast.
All the way through the Old Testament the Prophets said when God came to his people and set everything right it would be like a wedding feast: the coming together of God and his people.
In this Gospel, however, Jesus also talks about the bridegroom being taken away, which is not normal. We are being warned in this Gospel that the bridegroom’s path will not be smooth or comfortable.
Mindful of this, Fr Paul says, we might ask ourselves today, Are we like the Pharisees? Are we judgemental? Do I question why? Do I question what we do?