14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" 15 And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Every Friday of this season will evoke in our minds systematically fasting and penance. Today the Church proposes us through this gospel the mind of Jesus and asks each and every one of us, what is exactly the finality of these acts? Just because it is good and promoted, because it is the tradition, or simply is the best way to observe the Lenten season, doesn’t justify the finality of such acts.
Every act should help us to love Jesus and his people. If it helps us to assemble together as one people of God, if it helps us to get reconciled with one another, if it helps us to understand the divine love and to grow as children of God, this should be the first act to be chosen than simply observing these fasting and penance which doesn’t add any value in our spiritual life, than a big show-up.
In above all, it is important to see and discern how God looks at these acts that we have chosen and what is His will? If we have the answer to these questions and our fasting and penance are coherent with these response, we should engage positively. Do we have the response? Why to engage if we don’t have the response? If we do, it can be compared to a nurse who gives medicines with good faith and intention, to the patient without knowing the sickness.
A Daily Quote for Lent:
True fasting, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 AD
"All the endeavors for fasting are concerned not about the rejection of various foods as unclean, but about the subjugation of inordinate desire and the maintenance of neighborly love. Charity especially is guarded - food is subservient to charity, speech to charity, customs to charity, and facial expressions to charity. Everything works together for charity alone." (excerpt from Letter 243, 11)