Reflection on Scriptures Eighth Sunday of the Year Gospel B Openness to the new

By 10:16 AM

 Eighth Sunday of the Year: Gospel B

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to him and objected, "Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" 

· This is another in a series of controversy stories in the earlier part of Mark’s Gospel. The people are not identified.

· Fasting was understood as total abstention from food and drink usually from sun up to sun down. The Day of Atonement was the only annual national fast prescribed in the OT, even though people chose to fast at other times as well. The Pharisees fasted twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays.

Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. 

· What do you think Jesus is saying? Do you think he is referring to his time on earth as a time of celebration like a wedding feast?

· Notice he indicates the bridegroom will be taken away from them. Do you see in this the possibility of his violent death in the future?

· Do you think there is any relationship between the fasting after the bridegroom leaves to his anticipated future coming again? What will be the purpose of that fasting?

· We know that many of the early Christians fasted after the resurrection on Wednesdays and Fridays.

No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. 

· A patch made of cloth that is not pre-washed will shrink and pull away from the original garment.

Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins." 

· How open am I to the “new” Jesus may be wanting to do in my life? Where is he stretching me spiritually?  How will I respond?

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