Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
February 8, A.D. 2008
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 18-19
A reflection on today's Scripture:
When I hear today's short gospel reading, I'm struck with the huge contrast it presents. We find John the Baptist's disciples and the Pharisees fasting often while Jesus' disciples never fast. Why the difference?
I am certainly no scholar of Mosaic Law, but it seems to me that the law, particularly as enforced by the Pharisees, was a tremendous burden. Every single aspect of one's life was subject to the very smallest parts of the law, sometimes incorrectly interpreted or applied by the Pharisees. In many instances, living like this could not have been pleasant and I wonder if fasting was connected to this in some way, perhaps as a penitential undertaking for falling short of the law.
But Jesus and His message was one of lessening one's burdens, of freedom and of the love of God. Jesus Himself said His burden was light and it was a time of celebration as the Savior had come with His kingdom. There was no need for fasting; it was time to rejoice.
This is not to say that fasting does not have its proper place in our faith as it does. But more important, Jesus came to free us, to love us and to make our lives, as St. Paul said, more fulfilled.
- Don Claunch, SFO
| email: dlclaunch(at)bresnan(dot)net
Friday after Ash Wednesday
St. Jerome Emiliani, priest
St. Josephine Bakhita, virgin
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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