Saturday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

“Then the disciples of John approached him and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast [much], but your disciples do not fast?” (Matthew 9:14.)

Saint Peter Chrysologus comments on this verse from the Gospel proclaimed at Mass today:

“What did John’s disciples have in common with the Pharisees if not a bond of ill will uniting those whom discipline had separated? In this case jealousy loses its bearings: Accustomed to separating people, it united them. The Jews were not disposed to esteem Moses less than the Lord, and John’s disciples were by no means willing to prefer Christ to John. Thus they grumbled in common spite against Christ. “Why do we and the Pharisees often fast, whereas your disciples do not fast?” Why? Because with you, fasting is a matter of the law and not of the will. Fasting does not reflect the one who fasts but the one who orders the fast. And what is the fruit of fasting to you who fast unwillingly?” (Sermons, 31.)

O God,
Who through the grace of adoption
chose us to be children of light,
grant, we pray,
that we may not be wrapped
in the darkness of error
but always be seen to stand
in the bright light of truth.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen