Isaiah 58: 1-9
Matthew 9: 14-15


The gospel reading shows us the beginning of the tensions between Jesus and His critics. This is a reminder of the journey we are embarking on during Lent.

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were quick to see and feel the difference between their usual life and the ‘new life’ that Jesus brought. Result… they complained!

Jesus’ response is one of stating the old is gone, and the new is in. What a thought! I could nearly use this today as a modern catchphrase for the latest product…

Jesus’ use of a wedding as a metaphor means that His presence is like a party or a fun-filled celebration. Obviously, it is not a time for fasting but rather for rejoicing. 

It is a gentle reminder for us that Jesus came not to preserve the status quo but to establish the Kingdom of God where there is peace and joy, love and justice, hope and faith. That is why His new radical way of life was at odds with the establishment, particularly the religious authorities. As we are very aware, their opposition to Jesus would later culminate in the crucifixion.

Reflecting on today’s reading reminds us while we easily understand the behaviour of the critics of Jesus, we, too, at times, are equally the same. We are people who cling to their cherished old way of life in moments rather than embracing change. A reminder that as we embrace the deep, slow, reflective nature of Lenten, we dwell in a space to allow Christ in and rejoice with him.

Sr Karen Englebretsen CP, Cross and Passion Sisters. blessed to be a spiritual care worker in the homeless sector in Melbourne.