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Monday, January 15, 2001

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Hebrews 5:1-10
Psalm 110
Mark 2:18-22

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punching bag

"On that day they will fast." —Mark 2:20

Many, many years ago there was an expression: "He couldn't punch his way out of a wet paper bag." This was a way of calling someone a weakling.

People questioned why Jesus' disciples did not fast. Jesus answered that the fasting by His disciples would be so powerful and extreme that their lives wouldn't be able to take the effects of it. It would be like pouring fermenting, volatile new wine into an old wineskin (Mk 2:22). Only after Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven culminating in Pentecost would His disciples have the life and lifestyle to contain the explosiveness of New Testament fasting.

  • Do you fast?
  • Do you fast at least weekly?
  • Do you believe that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil? (Gospel of Life, Pope John Paul II, 100)
  • How much punch, wallop, and explosive power does your fasting have?
  • Can you fast your way out of a wet paper bag? Can you fast your way out of a culture of death?

Fast and you shall receive.

Prayer:  Father, teach me to fast explosively.

Promise:  "He became the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him." —Heb 5:9

Praise:  Thirty-five prisoners gave their lives to Jesus at the Sunday prison service.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, July 15, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 17, 2000