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Saturday, March 8, 2003

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St. John of God

Isaiah 58:9-14
Psalm 86
Luke 5:27-32

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the call to fasting is a call to greatness

"The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up." —Isaiah 58:12

When Levi decided to be a tax collector (see Lk 5:27), he separated himself from his people and his family. This probably showed that his family relationships were in ruins. But if his family relationships had not been completely ruined, Levi proceeded to ruin them by becoming a tax collector, an accomplice of the Roman oppression and an enemy of the Jewish people.

After Levi followed Jesus and received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, this man whose house had been in ruins became part of the apostolic foundation of the Church (Eph 2:20; Rv 21:14). Levi, who is also called Matthew, compiled and wrote the first book of the New Testament. After the Lord restored Levi's ruined homestead, He definitely fulfilled His promise to us and to Levi that we would "ride on the heights of the earth" (Is 58:14).

The amazing process by which the Lord restored Levi's ruined homestead and transformed countless millions through Levi's Gospel can be begun by true fasting (see Is 58:6ff). Our fasting this Lent will also restore ruined homesteads and raise up great leaders so that we too will ride on the heights of the earth.

Fasting begins a march to greatness. Fast and change the world.

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to guide me to the truth of fasting's place in Your plan of salvation (see Jn 16:13).

Promise:  "Then the Lord will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails." —Is 58:11

Praise:  St. John wrote: "Christ provides all things. Let us always give thanks to Him."

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Fasting, or on audio tape AV 46-1.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 1, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 7, 2002