*** 1st Reading ***

Hebrews 5:1-10

Every High Priest is taken from among mortals

And appointed to be their representative before God to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin. He is able to understand the ignorant and erring for he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he is bound to offer sacrifices for his sins as well as for the sins of the people. 

Besides, one does not presume to take this dignity, but takes it only when called by God, as Aaron was.  Nor did Christ become High Priest in taking upon himself this dignity, but it was given to him by the One who says: You are my son, I have begotten you today.

 And in another place: You are a priest forever in the priestly order of Melchizedek Christ, in the days of his mortal life, offered his sacrifice with tears and cries. He prayed to him who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his humble submission. 

Although he was Son, he learned through suffering what obedience was, and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for those who obey him. This is how God proclaimed him Priest in the order of Melchizedek.


Ps 110:1-2, 3, 4

You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.


**** Gospel ****

Mark 2:18-22

One day, when the disciples of John the Baptist and the Pharisees were fasting, some people asked Jesus, “Why is it that both the disciples of John and of the Pha­risees fast, but yours do not?” Jesus answered, “How 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 day will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them and on that day they will fast.

 No one sews a piece of new cloth on an old coat, because the new patch will shrink and tear away from the old cloth, making a worse tear. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins, for the wine would burst the skins and then both the wine and the skins would be lost. But new wine, new skins!”


Gospel Reflection

Fasting creates the atmosphere of giving space so that spiritual things could enter the person. This spiritual technology is used by countless religions across time and space.

However, one must be aware and attuned when one is fasting to reap its benefits. Thus the activity depends on one’s disposition and understanding. It does not follow that when one fasts, one does it for spiritual benefits and purpose.

Jesus understands this very well. Just because others do it, His disciples shaped in His teaching must also do it. Fasting is good but not all the time necessary.