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Friday, September 4, 1998

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1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Psalm 37:3-6, 27-28, 39-40
Luke 5:33-39

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life in the fast lane

"They will surely fast in those days." —Luke 5:35

When we are baptized into the new life of Jesus and decide to live our Baptisms, "the old order has passed away; now all is new!" (2 Cor 5:17) Fasting, for example, becomes so new that the Lord uses our fasting to drive out the most entrenched demons (Mt 17:21), to initiate missionary outreaches (Acts 13:2-3), and to establish leaders for His Church (Acts 14:23). New Testament fasting is often frequent (see 2 Cor 11:27; 6:5) and very prolonged in imitation of Jesus' forty-day fast (see Mt 4:2). Considering the newness, intensity, and volatility of New Testament fasting, we would be foolish to fast in Jesus' name until we have accepted the new wineskin of new life in Christ.

So let us repent of any unfaithfulness to our baptismal promises and renew these promises. Let us live the "radical newness" of our Baptisms (Lay Members of Christ's Faithful People, Pope John Paul II, 10). Then let us fast accordingly and be part of the Spirit's renewing of the face of the earth (Ps 104:30).

Prayer:  Father, teach me to fast as the early Church fasted.

Promise:  "He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and manifest the intentions of hearts. At that time, everyone will receive his praise from God." —1 Cor 4:5

Praise:  Peter has fasted for world peace on Wednesdays and Fridays for years. He has found much peace in Jesus.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Fasting.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, February 17, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 25, 1998