Matthew 9:14-15 NRSVue

14Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” 15And Jesus said to them, “The wedding attendants cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.

Some thoughts on this scripture

The Pharisees and the disciples of John fasted several times a week. Fasting shows self-control, it is a symbol of mourning, and it purifies the heart. Most of all it expresses an inner hunger for God. Here Jesus uses the notion of fasting to reveal that the God whom the Jews hunger for has arrived. Rejoicing not mourning is the appropriate response to the presence of divine mercy revealed in Jesus.

Lord, this Lent let me feast with gratitude for your merciful love, and let me fast from oppressive behaviour towards those around me. May my prayer and my fasting reveal my inner hunger for you.