Arulvakku

19.02.10 FASTING

Posted under Reflections on February 18th, 2010 by
 

Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? (Mt 9,15)

 

Wedding party is a place of celebration and wedding is not a time for sadness. Jesus himself did not allow the wedding at Cana to become a place of sadness. He worked the first miracle (according to St. John) to keep the spirit of celebration.

Jesus picks up this image of wedding into religion and discipleship.

 Religion unites its followers with traditions and laws that have been followed for years. Similarly any following of a leader has its rules. It is with this frame of mind that the disciples of John the Baptist and the disciples of Pharisees come to Jesus to question him on fasting.

It is very clear that fasting is one of the practices of any religion.

But it is strange that Jesus brings in the image of wedding into this. Wedding also has its place in every religion. Jesus does not go out of the context of religion when he argues with them. Because he says that his disciples also will fast when the bridegroom is taken away from them. He is very much within the limits of religion.

What Jesus is trying to tell them is that they have to see all these factors: religion, fasting, discipleship, within the context of the  bridegroom.

When things are seen in its correct perspective the meanings are different.

For us the only perspective is Jesus.

18.02.10 CROSS

Posted under Reflections on February 17th, 2010 by

Let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (Lk 9,23)


Following Jesus is not following any dogmas and rules and rituals. It is following a person. It is going behind a person; literally, it is following the foot steps of the leader. That is why when peter rebuked him saying that he should not go to Jerusalem; Jesus answered him saying that he should come after him. In fact he tells him “Get behind me Satan” because your thinking is not in line with that of God.


So a follower is to get behind the master and walk and the disciple should in no way take up the leader’s role in front of the master.


If the master is going to have an end, that is, going to a death on the cross the disciples also should be ready for that. Here the cross is not the daily difficulties and problem one faces. These are there even for the non-believers.


For Jesus the cross meant that he was alone, that he was insulted and humiliated because he followed the way of God. He wanted to do the will of the father. In the same way a disciple should be ready for a death that will included insults, humiliations, loneliness etc.


All these crosses come and they come daily because they follow Jesus. This is the self denial that Jesus speaks here.

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