“Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered, ”
A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 5 : 1- 10)
Every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not take the honour upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not exalt himself to “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”; as he says also in another place, “You are a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers‘ and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 110: 188.8.131.52 (R. 4cd)
R/. You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The Lord’s revelation to my lord:
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your foes your footstool.” R.
The Lord will send from Sion
your scepter of power: rule in the midst of your foes. R.
R. You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.
With you is princely rule
on the day of your power.
In holy splendour, from the womb
before the dawn, I have begotten you. R.
The Lord has sworn an oath he will not change:
“You are a priest forever,
in the line of Melchizedek.” R.
ALLELUIA Hebrews 4: 12
Alleluia. The word of the Lord is living and active, discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Alleluia.
“The bridegroom is with them.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 2:18-22)
At that time: John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. No one sews a piece of un-shrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The first reading of today teaches us that obedience to God’s word brings about acceptance but disobedience brings about rejection. In the Gospel, Jesus teaches that the presence of the bridegroom (Jesus) is a cause for rejoicing and celebration. However, when the Lord has ascended and the Church, experiencing the descent of the Holy Spirit and carrying out its mandatory missionary work, will of course need to fast for the graces needed for the tasks ahead. We should therefore pray and fast as Christians to be obedient to God’s word always.