Resources - 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Year B: Mk 2:18-22
- The bridegroom is still with them - 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time
the last couple of weeks we have heard Jesus subjected to a number of controversies
where Jesus has exhibited not only the power of his teaching but also the difference
between his teaching "with authority" and the teachings of the Scribes
and Pharisees. Undoubtedly, Mark's community were facing similar controversies
as they continued to live out the teachings of Jesus which were becoming more
and more at odds with the Jewish authorities of their time.
challenge thrown at Jesus regards fasting. In the early stages of the ministry
of Jesus many Pharisees were attracted to the teaching of Jesus however, they
soon claimed that he was too lax in observing the Law as they interpreted it and
they objected to his consorting with sinners and outcasts.
response to any suggestion of laxity, Jesus draws on the Hebrew Scriptural depiction
of the messianic bridegroom, a title Jesus gladly claims as his self- description
to support his claim of the unique character of this time of his earthly ministry.
weddings during the time of Jesus were grand events, lasting a number of days
where there was an abundance of food and wine. It was a time when everyone was
assured of a good feed so Jesus draws on this common experience to show the inappropriateness
of fasting by his followers. The need to fast has been superseded by the Incarnation
- God-with-us and it was only after the ascension of Jesus that the early church
introduced fast as a form of penitence while awaiting the parousia or 'end time'
when Jesus would return.
Just as the Pharisees were happy
to accept Jesus on their terms, we too can try and 'sanitise' Jesus so that he
fits into 'our style' of God. However, anyone who reads the Scriptures soon realises
that Jesus cannot be sanitised and that Jesus is a most radical teacher, a teacher
preaching a God of mercy, and a Saviour who will challenge our interpretation
of the laws of the church today to see God's Spirit of the law is followed.
is very easy to become bound by the letter of various encyclicals or canons and
completely miss the intention or spirit of that instruction. Whatever and whenever
the Church teaches, the intention is to bring life to God's people, not to bind
and constrict them. Just as the cloth and wineskin can be destroyed by forcing
the new on the old, even today we experience a similar tension between the claims
of tradition and those of a Gospel ever new.
Youth Ministry Resources 8th Sunday
in Ordinary Time
Click the Pope for more Youth