Jesus implies that He is the bridegroom in this passage. It is important to notice that it is John’s disciples asking the question, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Many of John’s disciples will soon find themselves following Jesus. And at the time of the Passion, many will find themselves deserting Jesus.
In today’s world, I do not think many people have experienced fasting. Many people will look to fast from meat on Fridays, Ash Wednesday, and Good Friday. Another form of fasting is having two small meals and one regular meal on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. And with no snacks. But could you fast for an entire day? That is right, no food for an entire day. Fasting challenges our emotions. When we are hungry can we still be kind and generous people or do we become sharp tongued and critical. The readings are pointing out today that fasting is good, but it is ignored by God if we mistreat others at our perceived inconvenience. Fasting strengthens us in a very real spiritual way. We are fasting, offering our sufferings to God to be used where He wants to apply them.
Fasting over Lent prepares for the wedding feast of Easter when Jesus comes to take His bride, the Church. The feast is in heaven, a feast we cannot imagine. Why would we be satisfied with anything here in this world? It just does not make sense. A few moments on earth hardly compares for an eternity in heaven. Challenge yourself. Can you give up one meal a week? Master that and then ask if you could fast for a day. During the times of fasting offer prayers for the people in your life who will benefit from your fast and offering. Of course, if you have medical issues, then just offer prayers. Nevertheless, give it a try.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen