Thank you for joining the St. Monica’s Live Stream Mass for Saturday 7/4/2020, Independence Day

Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Saturday 7/4/2020

Reading 1 AM 9:11-15

Thus says the LORD:
On that day I will raise up
the fallen hut of David;
I will wall up its breaches,
raise up its ruins,
and rebuild it as in the days of old,
That they may conquer what is left of Edom
and all the nations that shall bear my name,
say I, the LORD, who will do this.
Yes, days are coming,
says the LORD,
When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,
and the vintager, him who sows the seed;
The juice of grapes shall drip down the mountains,
and all the hills shall run with it.
I will bring about the restoration of my people Israel;
they shall rebuild and inhabit their ruined cities,
Plant vineyards and drink the wine,
set out gardens and eat the fruits.
I will plant them upon their own ground;
never again shall they be plucked
From the land I have given them,
say I, the LORD, your God.

Responsorial Psalm 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14

R. (see 9b) The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

Alleluia JN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 9:14-17

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.
No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth,
for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse.
People do not put new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined.
Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Fasting and Freedom

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” Matthew 9:14-15

Do you want to be free?  Do you want to discover true liberty in your life?  Most certainly you do.  But what does that mean?  And how do you obtain it?

Liberty is what we are made for.  We are made to be free to live life to the fullest and to experience the unfathomable joys and blessings God desires to bestow upon us.  But all too often we have a misconception of what true freedom is all about.  Freedom, more than anything else, is an experience of the joy of having the Bridegroom with us.  It’s the joy of the wedding feast of the Lord.  We were made to celebrate our unity with Him for eternity.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus clearly states that the wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them.  However, “The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

It is helpful to look at the relationship between fasting and freedom.  At first this may seem like a strange combination.  But if fasting is properly understood, it will be seen as a pathway toward the glorious gift of true freedom.

There are times in our lives when “the Bridegroom is taken away.”  This can refer to many things.  One thing it particularly refers to are the times when we experience a sense of the loss of Christ in our lives.  This can certainly come as a result of our own sin, but it can also come as a result of us growing closer to Christ.  In the first case, fasting can help free us from the many sinful attachments we have in life.  Fasting has the potential to strengthen our will and purify our desires.  In the second case, there are times when we are growing very close to Christ and, as a result, He hides His presence from our lives.  This may seem strange at first but it is done so that we will seek Him all the more.  In this case, also, fasting can become a means of deepening our faith and commitment to Him.

Fasting can take on many forms, but, at the heart, it is simply an act of self-denial and self-sacrifice for God.  It helps us overcome earthly and fleshly desires so that our spirits can more fully desire Christ.

Reflect, today, on how deeply you desire Christ in your life.  If you see that there are other competing desires that tend to drown out Christ, consider offering acts of fasting and other forms of self-denial.  Make them small sacrifices for God and you will see the good fruit they produce.

Lord, I desire You in my life above all things.  Help me to see the things that compete for Your love and to offer sacrifice so that my soul can be purified and live in the freedom You desire for me.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life

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Important Contact Information

Pastor
Fr. Tom Wyrsch
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Office: 314-434-4211 x336


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Patty Greaves
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Office: 314-434-4211 x330


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