In today’s Gospel proclamation, Jesus is questioned about fasting. There are various reasons for fasting: humbling oneself before God (Is 58:3-9), strengthening prayer (Tobit 12,8; 2 Chr 20,3), related to almsgiving and as an expression of mourning (Mt 9:15). However the essential point is that a fast is directed towards God and not towards human beings. Jesus is saying to his disciples, since he is with them at that moment, it is a joyful time and there cannot be room for fasting.
But he says, a time will come that he will be taken away from them and then they will fast. Similarly in our lives also there are times when we are filled with the love and mercy of Jesus and we experience joy and peace. We also experience chapters in our life, where Jesus seems far away from us. Thus there are various times in our journey. In between times of tribulations and joy are occasions for fasting, to mourn for moving away from God, to strengthen our prayer life, to be charitable towards others and to humble ourselves before God.
Prayer: Abba Father, help us to seek you earnestly in prayer and fasting. May we find joy in knowing, loving and serving you. Amen.