Today’s Gospel: Mark 2:18-22
In this passage we review the meaning of the parables of fasting at the wedding feast. Jesus gives two analogies for us to ponder: a new patch on old clothing and pouring a new wine into old wine skin.
“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old and a worse tear is made.” He goes on to say “No one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins and the wine is lost and so are the skins…”
Essentially Jesus is communicating the importance of accepting Him as the “new” path. Fasting is not necessary when He is with them. He asks “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast when He is with them?” Keep in mind, fasting was a sign of devotion and piety in Jesus’ day but it needs to be more than a ritual; it has to be heartfelt. Fasting can be a reminder for everyone wanting to follow Jesus; but He’s making the point to do this after He ascends into heaven.
As a child I remember having to abstain from meat every Friday. In our house we had a lot of macaroni and cheese and tuna on Fridays. The intention behind doing this was to encourage Catholics to offer up a sacrifice to God that comes from the heart and unite us with the suffering of Jesus on the cross. I like to think of it as a form of prayer. It is a reminder that Jesus is in our heart and mind always.
Do we embrace the meaning behind some of our rituals when we know how important it is to have Jesus in our hearts?
Please make my offers of fasting be meaningful to You, Jesus. I want to show that I have faith in You all the time.
Copyright 2018 Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh
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