HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR I.
THEME: Why do your disciples not fast?
BY: Fr. Deotacious Chikontwe, SMA.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
*FROM OUR FIRST READING*
Dear brothers and sisters, The author of our first reading we have just read this morning, wrote about the identity of the High Priest and why the Lord Jesus, the One known as the Messiah, or the Saviour, is the one true and Eternal High Priest for all mankind. By linking to this High Priesthood, and how God chose His High Priests back then from among the people, and what they did on behalf of the people, the author sought to explain and make clear what the Lord Jesus’ actions and all the events that happened back then, so that hopefully more among the Jewish people may come to believe in the Lord Jesus and accept Him as their Lord and Saviour.
*FROM OUR GOSPEL READING*
It is clear from this morning’s gospel reading that people saw a difference between the ministry of John the Baptist and the ministry of Jesus. Whereas John and his disciples were recognized as people who fasted a lot, Jesus and his disciples were not known for fasting. As a Jew, Jesus would have fasted. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving were three of the central Jewish practices that Jesus valued and lived by. Yet, the gospels suggest that sharing table was more important to Jesus than fasting. It was at table that he revealed the hospitality of God for all, especially for those who had been made to feel beyond God’s favour. Jesus proclaimed a gracious God who wanted to enter into communion with us and wanted us to enter into communion with him and with each other.
There was something new about Jesus’ ministry in that sense. The God he revealed was not one who promoted laws and regulations but who called on people to care and provide for each other in response to God’s caring and providing for them. This was the ‘new wine’ that Jesus refers to in the gospel reading that was ill suited to the old wineskins that the Pharisees were so protective of, such as the elaborate regulations about fasting. The image of Jesus as the bridegroom and the image of his ministry as new wine, suggests joy and celebration; it speaks of good news. It is vital that Jesus and his message would always remain good news for us, the good news of a gracious God who is constantly at work in a life-giving way in all of our lives.
I wish everyone a Blessed Week.
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