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Friday, February 20, 2015

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Isaiah 58:1-9
Psalm 51:3-6, 18-19
Matthew 9:14-15

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pulling a fast <u>one</u>

"Do you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?" —Isaiah 58:5

Fasting is limiting our intake of food in obedience to God for the building of His kingdom. It may involve eating nothing, eating a little less, or eating plainer, less tasty foods. Although the Lord often calls us to cut back significantly in eating, fasting is not a matter of quantity but obedience. For instance, to fast severely when God is calling us to something else is not pleasing to Him.

A Lenten fast is a little different than another fast. The Lenten fast is an intentional imitation of Christ as He fasted forty days in the desert. Thus, the purpose of a Lenten fast is to be united with Christ and to grow in a deep, personal relationship with Him.

On this Friday, the third fast day of Lent, the Church obliges the Catholics of the world to unite by abstaining from meat. This simple expression of unity encourages all of us to persevere in fasting and to fast with our focus on unity — unity with all the Catholics of the world and especially with Jesus. "Would that today you might fast so as to make your voice heard on high!" (Is 58:4)

Prayer:  Jesus, may I be in communion with You when I eat Your flesh and drink Your blood (Jn 6:56). May I also receive communion with You and Your people when I fast.

Promise:  "When the day comes that the Groom is taken away, then they will fast." —Mt 9:15

Praise:  As he fasted, Robert had more prayer distractions, health changes, and interruptions than before. He persevered and grew much closer to Jesus.

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 25, 2014

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