Friday, July 05, 2019
SATURDAY, 13th Week in Ordinary Time
July 6, 2019 – SATURDAY, 13th Week in Ordinary Time
St. Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr
Gn 27: 1 – 5, 15 – 29 / Mt 9: 14 – 17
St. Maria Goretti (1890 – 1902), a twelve-year old Italian maiden, was stabbed to death by one who wished to seduce her.
GOSPEL READING: Mt 9: 14 – 17
Then the disciples of John came to him with the question, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast on many occasions, but not your disciples?"
Jesus answered them, "How can you expect wedding guests to mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? Time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, then they will fast.
"No one patches an old coat with a piece of unshrunken cloth for the patch will shrink and tear an even bigger hole in the coat. Besides, you do not put new wine in old wineskins. If you do, the wineskins will burst and the wine will be spilt. No, you put new wine in fresh skins; then both will be preserved."
In the first reading we hear of Jacob's duplicity over his elder brother Esau, helped by their own mother Rebekah, to obtain the blessing of their father Isaac.
In the Gospel reading the disciples of John the Baptist question Jesus why they and the Pharisees fast, but not the disciples of Jesus. This is an important question because fasting is one of the key religious practices among the Jews.
Jesus teaches them that, as in all things, there is a time to celebrate at feasts and key family occasions and there is a time for fasting and penance. With Jesus with them, "the bridegroom," there is joy; but when Jesus goes away, they will need penance and fasting.
Today there are only two obligatory days of fasting in the Philippine Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. At the same time the Church continues to encourage us to do penance and fasting to uplift the spirit and to discipline our bodies. If we do penance and fast, we are enabled to get closer to the God who suffered for us. If we fast from food, soft drinks and other pleasurable things for the sake of being with Christ and others who suffer from deprivation and want, we become more like Christ who became poor and suffered for our sake. To do penance to conquer our sinfulness and evil inclinations are also commendable acts.
We recall what the prophet Isaiah wrote about fasting, "See the fast that pleases me: breaking the fetters of injustice and unfastening the thongs of the yoke, setting the oppressed free and breaking every yoke. Fast by sharing your food with the hungry, bring to your house the homeless, clothe the man you see naked and do not turn away from your own kin." (Is 58: 6 – 7)
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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