In our gospel today Matthew 9:14-15, the disciples of John ask Jesus why his disciples don’t fast like they and the Pharisees do. Jesus then says, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
Jesus refers to himself as the bridegroom, and the disciples as the wedding guests. Jesus’ presence demands celebration, so why would they be fasting and mourning with him in their midst? Fasting was done for many reasons, and one of them was for the death of a loved one. When Jesus is gone, his disciples will fast.
We hear of a similar story with Martha and Mary. Mary spent time with Jesus while Martha was distracted with all the preparations. When Martha complained about Mary not helping her, Jesus told Martha that Mary chose the better way.
What can we learn from today’s Gospel? Do we see others doing less than us and question them? Do our Lenten sacrifices bring us resentment instead of joy because we compare ourselves to others? Are we busy “doing” things for God that are not bringing us closer to him, when he really wants us “being” with him and celebrating his presence? We know what Jesus prefers. This Lent, let us practice this better way, and not compare ourselves to others. Let us stop and be with Jesus and celebrate that time in his presence.
De Colores, Deacon Kevin