THE JOY OF KNOWING GOD’S PLAN FOR US, By Fr Oluwafemi Victor Orilua, CSSp


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


QUOTE: “When fasting is observed merely as a ritual or to display piety, it will amount to empty self-flagellation.”

Life becomes sweet when we are able to know our purpose on earth. The knowledge of our life script helps us to cultivate the right dispositions that help handle and prepare for the ups and downs that life brings.

Jesus, in today’s gospel, “John’s disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ His response was a rude shock to them. “Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of mourning as long as the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Looking into his life script, Jesus could see the cross awaiting him, but he was unperturbed. He knew that the disciples were still enjoying his physical presence at the moment. He wanted them to take their ease for the while, knowing that the time is coming when they will be thrown into mourning. Jesus was able to see the end from the beginning.

There is time for everything. And it takes knowledge and divine wisdom to place things in their own rightful places, so that we do not do the right thing at the wrong time.

Fasting is good, but when it is observed at the wrong time or for the wrong reasons, it will be of no use.  John’s disciples asked Jesus, “Why is it that we..” They were comparing themselves and Jesus’ disciples. Fasting is not a game of competition, where we begin to ascertain who can fast better than the other. It is meant to help us in our personal ascent to God.

Fasting is meant to help us practice self-restraint, and to discipline our appetite. It is meant to aid us to be focused in our prayer. When it is observed merely as a ritual or to display piety, it will amount to empty self-flagellation.

May the Lord open our minds and hearts so that we may understand how he orders our lives. May our knowledge of his designs be accompanied with the peace that the world cannot give. Amen

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