Jesus inaugurates a new order of life that surpasses that of the old Mosaic Law and practice. The Jews are accustomed to the traditions of their forefathers wherein prayer, almsgiving, and fasting are considered the “three pillars of Judaism” (cf Tb 12:8).
The coming of Jesus presents a new form of relationship not based on the law but a special relationship like marriage, the symbol of God’s covenant with the chosen people Israel (cf Is 54:5-6; Hos 2:16-20). Jesus likens himself to the bridegroom coming for his bride; hence, his presence brings joy to God’s people. He departs from the austerity and the rigorous way of life of John the Baptist, while presenting a new liberating lifestyle based on a relationship of love.
There must be joy when God visits his people. In other words, the disciples must be ready for this relationship between God and people, because the old customs and traditions should give way to Jesus, who is the Gospel.
Gospel • MARK 2:18-22
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to Jesus and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”
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