St. Anthony, Abbot
I Samuel 15:16-23 + Mark 2:18-22
January 17, 2022
“… the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them ….”
Today’s Gospel passage might seem confusing to those who wish to be devout Christians. Along with the contrast between Jesus and John, there is a contrast between feasting and fasting. Jesus’ disciples in this passage do not fast because He is with them. Should Christians today, then, take part in the discipline of fasting? Or would fasting imply a denial of Jesus’ presence in our lives?
Jesus gives us the key to applying this contrast to our own lives as 21st century disciples. He explains, “the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.” But what exactly is “that day”? In one sense, we could consider “that day” to be Good Friday, when Jesus offered His life to death.
But in a broader sense, you and I need to understand “that day” as referring to the lives of all members of the Body of Christ here below in this vale of tears: all of us who are members of the Church Militant here on earth. It’s true that through Baptism and the other sacraments which we worthily receive, Christ dwells in our souls. Through these sacraments He conforms us as members of His Mystical Body. Yet as wayfaring pilgrims on earth, we are called to fast. We fast because our share in Christ’s life is not full. Only in Heaven may we feast fully on the life of God as members of the Church Triumphant.