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July 02, 2022

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DG BookGospel: Matthew 9:14-17
Then the disciples of John came to him with the question, “How is it, that we and the
Pharisees fast on many occasions, but not your disciples?”

Jesus answered them, “How can you expect wedding guests to mourn as long as the bride groom is with them?
The time will come, when the bride groom will be taken away from them, and then, they will fast.

No one patches an old coat with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for the patch will shrink and tear an even bigger hole
in the coat. In the same way, you don’t put new wine into old wine skins. If you do, the wine skins will burst and the
wine will be spilt. No, you put new wine into fresh skins; then both arepreserved.”


Were the Pharisees and the disciples of the Baptist wrong in their fast? Not at all. Theirs was apreparatory fast, a fast
meant to level the mountains and fill the valleys. It is a fast that speaks of a longing. It is a fast that is relative to a higher
goal; a means to an end. But now that the end is here —that the Master has arrived—it is no good to keep fasting; for,
what is needed now is a feast, a celebration. That’s why all references by Jesus to the coming of the Kingdom are in terms
of a banquet. What Prophet Amos describes in today’s first reading is such a scene of celebration: on that day, the mountains
shall drip sweet wine, and the people shall eat fruits and drink wine to their heart’s content. If we can adapt the words from
Ecclesiastes, there is a time to fast and a time to feast (cf. Eccl. 3:1-8)

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