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Feasting and Fasting

Fr. Walter Quinn, OSA
Priest Associate, Priests for Life

July 04, 1998


    13th Week Yr      MT 9:14-27                                                            SAM  6:30AM

One of the most beautiful…. &…. often quoted verses in the Old Testament……

is found in Chapter 3:1-8 of the Book of Ecclesiastes….where the Prophet says:

     “There is a time for everything …and a time for every affair under the heavens:

  -a time to be born & a time to die;  & a time to plant & a time to uproot the plant

- a time to kill & a time to heal; a time to tear down & a time to build

-a time to weep & a time to laugh; a time to mourn & a time to dance

- a time to scatter stones & a time to gather them

- a time to embrace & a time to be far from embraces

- a time to seek & a time to lose; a time to keep & a time to cast away

- a time to rend & a time to sew; a time to be silent  & a time to speak

- a time to love & a time to hate; a time of war & a time of peace.”


Our Blessed Lord may have had this prophecy in mind when He answered the

question in today’s Gospel about WHY His disciples are NOT fasting, while the

Pharisees DO fast.   Fasting will be appropriate XP says when the WEDDING PARTY

Is over….when the Bridegroom is no longer with them.  THEN they will fast!

Now is the time for Feasting while Jesus is still physically present among them.

When Christ dies on the Cross & is taken from them…THEN they will Fast!


For us Advent & Lent are times when the Church urges us to fast, but in the early

80’s  the Bishops of the world reminded the people to do Penance for the cause

of Peace & Justice in the world by Fasting & Abstaining on ALL Fridays of the year

as a tangible sign of our need & desire to do Penance by voluntarily  eating less

food..AND…by Abstaining from ALL Meat….and this we must do all year long on

every Friday.  Please note the Bishops stated…..that all of us should have a need

and the desire to do Penance!


There is nothing better or more effective than Fasting & Abstaining….to focus our

mind & body & heart on…..WHY we are experiencing a little hunger...and…not

enjoying the eating of Meat.  We are TRYING to do all this out of Love for Our Lord!


This return to the traditional practice of Penance…and especially the Spirit of

Penance which has been so sorely neglected by many Catholics today should also

be accompanied…. as St Paul says….with works of Charity and service towards our

neighbor…because St Paul reminds us…..that Faith without Good Works is dead.

It is useless!


Hence, every Friday can & should be a day dedicated to....Prayer…Penance..

Almsgiving & Charity.  For such efforts  God will return many Blessings to the

to all those Souls who are so dedicated & trying their very best to please Him!

The Lord Jesus never ceases to change….mold….shape  & our hearts…so He can

draw us closer to Him… Grace…Love….& Truth.  This is what every Soul should

want, seek & desire.                                                                        

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