Jesus "saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his customs post. He said to him, 'Follow Me.' Leaving everything behind, Levi stood up and became His follower." —Luke 5:27-28
Our Lenten fasting can be used by the Lord to transform Levis into Matthews and to convert whole strata of society. Even the hardest hearts can be opened, and even areas of our society which are openly anti-Christian can become openly Christian. Imagine TV news anchors, celebrities, and billionaires proclaiming on their TV programs that they have accepted Jesus as Lord of their lives.
Yes, the Lord can work through this Lenten fast, as promised by the prophet Isaiah, but there are several conditions:
- "if you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech" (Is 58:9),
- "if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted" (Is 58:10), and
- "if you hold back your foot on the sabbath from following your own pursuits on My holy day" (Is 58:13).
If we satisfy these conditions, "then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday" (Is 58:10). "The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up; 'Repairer of the breach,' they shall call you, 'Restorer of ruined homesteads' " (Is 58:12).
Fasting, indicative of a life totally in submission to the Lord, will be used to do the humanly impossible and transform the world. "Would that today you might fast so as to make your voice heard on high!" (Is 58:4)
Prayer: Father, send the Spirit to teach me to fast.
Promise: "Then you shall delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth." —Is 58:14
Praise: St. John of God died a happy death. He passed into eternal life with Jesus while kneeling in prayer before the Church altar.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Fasting, or on audio AV 46-1 or video V-46.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013
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