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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Friday after Ash Wednesday
Gospel text (Mt 9:14-15): Then the disciples of John approached him and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast (much), but your disciples do not fast?” (...).

The fasting tradition

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today starting Lent, we recall the forty days of our Lord’s fasting in the desert before entering into His public ministry. Like Moses before receiving the Tablets of the Law and Elijah before meeting the Lord on the Mount Horeb, Jesus, too, through prayer and fasting, prepared Himself for the mission that lay before Him, marked at the start by a serious battle with the tempter.

The Sacred Scriptures (since the same "Genesis") and the entire Christian tradition teach that fasting is a great help to avoid sin and all that leads to it. For this reason, the history of salvation is replete with occasions that invite fasting. In the New Testament, Jesus brings to light his profound motive for fasting: fasting through one’s own will allows fulfilling the will of the Father in Heaven.

—If Adam disobeyed the Lord’s command "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat”, through fasting I intend to submit myself humbly to God, trusting in his goodness and mercy.