Homily for Saturday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: The issue of fasting
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Saturday, July 6 2019
(Mt. 9:14-17) Saturday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus responded to the Pharisees’ rigidity and ultra-conservatism (on the issue of fasting) with the parable of the old wineskin and cloak. He appealed to their own experience of taking care not to put new wine in old wineskins lest they burst, spill the wine, and ruin the wineskin. Or committing the grave mistake of using unshrunken cloth to patch the tear of a cloak lest it worsens the tear when the unshrunken cloth reaches its fullness.
Fasting was a burdensome discipline which was practiced by those who had gathered much spiritual experience. That was why it is being imposed at a more mature age, or better, to the more mature faithful. Jesus did not make His disciples fast primarily because He was with them. There was no reason to fast. Fasting was meant to subject oneself to sacrifice so as to be prepared for the coming of the Messiah. Jesus was the Messiah. As long as He was with the disciples, they will not fast.
Furthermore, the disciples were still considered neophytes or babies in the fold of Jesus. Jesus practiced prudence in imposing disciplinary practices to the disciples. They are still in their weaning stage of being “Christians.”
Today, we call them “baby Christians.” They are those who are new in the faith or may have been baptized for along time but lacked maturity in the faith. Unfortunately we have a lot of these baby Christians. The promise made during baptism by the parents and Godparents to rear the children according to the life and spirit of Jesus was either forgotten or wanting. Thus, when trials and suffering in the practice of faith comes, they give up and further lose faith. Also, when hard teachings like loving enemies, forgiveness, and dying to self are prescribed, they doubt and ignore them.
Jesus tells us to be patient with each other. We live, relatively, different lives even if we share the same faith. We have different levels of spiritual maturity. We must try to accompany each other, not drag another without compromising what our faith teaches. We do what we can as a Church, a friend, and a relative. In the end, it will be between God and us, God and the other.