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Friends, in today’s Gospel, people ask Jesus why he doesn’t encourage fasting among his followers. Jesus’ answer is wonderful: “Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?” (That’s a typically Jewish style, by the way, answering a question with another question.)

This great image of the wedding feast comes up frequently in the New Testament, most obviously in the wedding feast at Cana narrative. And it is echoed in the tradition. Jesus is the wedding of heaven and earth, the marriage of divinity and humanity; he is the bridegroom and the Church is the bride. In him, the most intimate union is achieved between God and the world.

Could you imagine people fasting at a wedding banquet? Could you imagine going into an elegant room with your fellow guests and being served bread and water? It would be ridiculous! The mark of the Christian dispensation is joy. Exuberance. Delight. God and the world have come together. What could be better news?