Friday of the Twenty-SecondWeek in Ordinary Time

The feast and the fast  

And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same; but yours eat and drink.” Jesus answered them, “Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days.” And he also told them a parable. “No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Otherwise, he will tear the new and the piece from it will not match the old cloak. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.  Lk 5,33-38

The first verses of the Gospel that today the Church proposes to us lead us to ponder the moments of joyful coexistence between brothers in faith. Jesus must absolutely defend the joy of conviviality from those who complain of not fasting. In his reply to the scribes, I saw the scene of a Sunday morning, at noon, when the kitchen gets crowded with grandchildren contending that my savoury pancakes, bearing paper napkins so that they are ready to make their stock as soon as I remove the pancakes from the steaming pan. It seems to me to see those happy eyes and greasy hands once again. I am sure that these moments please the Lord, because the joy of the little children feeds the glory of the Father. However, you cannot always be joyful during the course of life: sometimes the problems are just round the corner and tragedies can fall down on you at any moment. Those are the moments of trial and fasting. Fast is also a moment of glory, because it allows us to share the sufferings of humanity, as we have been told several times by the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. These are moments to shelter confidentially, to live in intimacy with the Lord, as a sort of silent prayer that deepens in the sufferings of the world and allows us to load a little of them on our shoulders. But Sunday is the Lord’s Day and, according to Saint Augustine, it is a sin to be sad on this day. So we are celebrating: we show the joyous face of being Christian, welcoming our beloved ones and sharing whatever good  we have, the pasta with meat sauce, to our beloved Tuscany Chianti, grandpa’s funny stories, the desserts by Anna Rita. And when we celebrate a birthday, why not singing all together, even if out of tune? Luckily enough there’s Silvia covering everything with her guitar!

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