Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

March 11, 2011
by

Hunter Allen

Freshman, Business Management Ethics Major,
Pre-Med Track

Is 58:1-9a
Ps 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 18-19
Mt 9:14-15

"The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,'Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?' Jesus answered them, 'Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.'" -Matthew 9:14-15

Today’s Gospel embraces a concept that many of us have a difficult time grasping: the act and practice of fasting.  The word has quite frankly haunted me ever since I was a young child; it meant that for some odd reason, I was not going to get my afternoon helping of cheddar Goldfish crackers. 

Even at a much more mature age, I find the act of fasting confusing.  In today’s Gospel reading, we are presented with the scenario of when to fast and when not, or more appropriately, who fasts and who doesn’t.  The Pharisees are fasting, for Christ is not the Messiah among them; they do not recognize his holiness, his love, his divinity.  Jesus’ disciples, on the other hand, need not fast, for Christ himself is in their presence.  They celebrate.  They believe.

So now the question arises: “We, as Christians in this time, truly believe that Christ is constantly living among us.  He is in everything we see, touch, smell, taste, and hear.  We allow him to enter into ourselves at the Eucharist.  He is alive in us, as we are alive in him.  Why then must we fast?”

I am no theologian by any means, but I feel that the answer comes simply.  We fast so that we may come even closer to Christ, our Savior.  As we continue to embark upon our Lenten journey, we place ourselves in a time of sacrifice; a time that represents the Ultimate Sacrifice.  Yes, we have reason to celebrate our closeness with the Lord.  But this is now the time to recognize that we have sinned through our own faults, in our thoughts and in our words, in what we have done, and what we have failed to do.  It is the time to recognize the agony Christ went through, so that we may have life.

We give up food. We give up Facebook.  We give up all sorts of stuff.  But none of it comes even remotely close to what Jesus gave up—His life.  May we this Lenten season continue to fast, so that we may indeed recognize all that Christ went through for our salvation.  May we grow closer in him.

“We remember how you loved us to your death,
and still we celebrate, for you are with us here;
And we believe that we will see you when you come,
in your glory, Lord, we remember, we celebrate,
we believe.”
-Marty Haugen



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