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Independence Day (USA)
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. (Matthew 9:15)
Imagine that you were invited to a wedding reception where you knew there would be lots of good food. You probably wouldn’t stop at a fast-food restaurant and order a double cheeseburger, would you? That’s the kind of situation Jesus is talking about here. According to Jewish wedding customs of the time, the bridegroom would leave the bride just before the ceremony to go make sure his house was ready for her. So the party was still to come, and everybody began to get ready for it.
With that insight, perhaps you can better understand Jesus’ words about fasting. He is not asking us to mourn for him as if he were gone forever. He wants us to be watchful and ready for the day when he returns!
When we fill ourselves with the “fast-food” of this world, it can leave us with little room for the grace God wants to give us. Just as those preparing to attend a wedding are focused on the ceremony and the party afterwards, we should keep our eyes fixed on everything that Jesus has waiting for us when he comes again. This would also be a perfect attitude to have as we prepare for Mass each Sunday or as we think about our daily prayer: “I can’t wait to see what kind of joy, healing, wisdom, direction, or mercy Jesus wants to give me right now. I’d better make sure there’s room for it in my heart.”
Think about all that God has planned for you in heaven. Think about everything he has already given you in his Son. Isn’t it far more satisfying and lasting than the fanciest meal you could buy? This is a meal that he is anxious for you to taste, so don’t pass him up on his offer! You just have to make room for him and open up your heart. You’ve got your invitation—signed with the sacrifice of Jesus. What else can you say in response but, “Here I am, Lord! I come to do your will” (Psalm 40:8)?
“Lord, help me to keep my gaze on you! The more I look at you, the less everything else matters. May I desire nothing but to please you, Jesus!”
Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29
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