FIRST READING
“I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel and plant them upon their land.”
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Amos (Amos 9:11-15)

Thus says the Lord: “In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name,” says the Lord who does this. “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when the ploughman shall overtake the reaper and the trader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant them upon their land, and they shall never again be plucked up out of the land which I have given them,” says the Lord your God.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 85:9.11-12.13-14 (R. see 9b)
R. The Lord speaks of peace for his people.

I will hear what the LORD God speaks;
he speaks of peace for his people and his faithful,
and those who turn their hearts to him. R.

Merciful love and faithfulness have met;
justice and peace have kissed.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth,
and justice look down from heaven. R.

R. The Lord speaks of peace for his people.

Also the Lord will bestow his bounty,
and our earth shall yield its increase.
Justice will march before him,
and guide his steps on the way. R.

ALLELUIA John 10:27
Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; and I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 9:14-17)

At that time: The disciples of John came to Jesus, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to 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. And no one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

In response to the challenge thrown by the disciples of John the Baptist on the question of fasting, Jesus clearly taught that fasting is never recommended where there is a wedding feast. And as long as the bridegroom is present, it calls for feasting and not fasting. However, it is only when the bridegroom is taken away that the guests can fast. Ideally fasting is a spiritual discipline that helps us to detach ourselves from the material things of this world so that we can recognize our greed and cultivate the virtue of charity towards the poor. And Christ assures us that whatever good we do to the poor is equally done to him.

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