Gospel Reflection- Friday after Ash Wednesday (4 March 2022) – They will fast
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (9: 14-15) in which Jesus, when questioned about why his disciples do not fast, says when the time comes, they will fast.
Fr Paul says this Gospel is puzzling because, at the beginning, it seems to rule out fasting, which is one of the three good works that we may be practicing this Lent. The Pharisees observed the Law and the rules strictly, but Jesus’s disciples did not and when that is questioned by John’s disciples, Jesus introduces the image of the wedding feast, the bridegroom and the attendants.
Fr Paul say we need to understand that right throughout the Old Testament the prophets likened the times when God would come and set everything right to a wedding feast. The completion of the wedding of God and his people; so, Jesus, too, uses this imagery of a wedding feast and the bridegroom. He uses it often in his parables.
If we look closely, there is a clear danger here because the bridegroom at any normal kind of wedding would simply go away with the bride when the time came, and the feast was over. We note here that the bridegroom will be taken away, which tells us that the road ahead will not be smooth or comfortable for the bridegroom. The way ahead will not be smooth or comfortable for Jesus.
For our reflection today, Fr Paul invites us to reflect on this Gospel, the imagery it uses and to make ourselves aware of what Jesus will face in the days and weeks ahead.