On this third day of Lent, we again have the privilege of fasting in imitation of Jesus. Jesus stated that His disciples would fast after His physical body was taken away, that is, after His ascension (Mt 9:15). Thus, fasting in the New Testament is associated with Jesus' ascension. When we fast, we have an "immeasurable scope of power," which is "like the strength" God the Father "showed in raising Christ from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in heaven" (Eph 1:19-20).
The power of fasting is like the power of Jesus' ascension. When we fast, we have the power of "releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke" (Is 58:6). This is only the beginning. Fasting will lead to provision for the poor, light breaking forth, quick healing, vindication, glory, prayer-power, guidance, abundance, strength, the rebuilding of ancient ruins, the restoration of ruined homesteads, delight, and nourishment (Is 58:7-14).
Fasting is powerful and catalytic, as was Jesus' ascension. Therefore, it is a privilege to fast. Because of our God-given opportunity to fast, we don't have to be so frustrated by our human limitations. For example, by fasting, we can impact Russia and China. By fasting, we can accelerate situations which seem to be "taking forever." By fasting, we can penetrate the hardest hearts. Because of the ascension power of fasting, our lives are not so much frustrated, but fulfilled.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2010 through March 31, 2010.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 26, 2009.