A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians (Colossians 1 :15-20)
“All things were created through him and for him.”
Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities — all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the Church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 100:1-188.8.131.52 (R. 2b)
R/. Come before the Lord, singing for joy.
Cry out with joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing for joy. R/.
Know that he, the Lord, is God.
He made us; we belong to him.
We are his people, the sheep of his flock. R/.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with songs of praise.
Give thanks to him, and bless his name. R/.
Indeed, how good is the Lord,
eternal his merciful love.
He is faithful from age to age. R/.
ALLELUIA John 5: 12
Alleluia. I am the light of the world, says the Lord; he who follows me will have the light of life. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 5 :33-39)
“When the bridegroom is taken from them, then they will fast.”
At that time: The Pharisees and the scribes said to Jesus, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” He told them a parable also: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it upon an old garment; if he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new; for he says, ‘The old is good.”’
The Gospel of the Lord.
In answering the question on fasting, Jesus tells three short parables: on the wedding guest, new garment, and new wineskins. All three indicate festivity and newness. With Jesus’ arrival on the scene, humanity has moved from the old to the new state, and from mourning to rejoicing and celebration. The teaching of Jesus here is not about whether Christians should fast or not. Rather, it is about accepting the new grace-filled teaching and the new way of life ushered in by the Lord. He, who is the “head of the body the church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead” (col 1:18), brings blessings of reconciliation, peace, joy and freedom. There is no place for sadness and mourning, as Jesus is the source of happiness. Christian life is a life of celebration in consequence of the encounter and experience of Jesus our Saviour.