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All Issues > Volume 25, Issue 4


<< Saturday, July 4, 2009 >> St. Elizabeth of Portugal
 
Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29
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Psalm 135:1-6 Matthew 9:14-17
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A FAST BUCK

 
"Then they will fast." —Matthew 9:15
 

Jesus' disciples did not fast, while the Pharisees and John's disciples did fast (Mt 9:14). Jesus explained that His disciples would fast later after they had received a new life in the Spirit. This was necessary because fasting in Jesus' name is so powerful it would be incompatible with the old lifestyle. For example, Jesus' kind of fasting is sometimes very extreme. Jesus fasted for forty days and nights (Mt 4:2). This was much longer than the Israelites' annual fast on the Day of Atonement and even the two fast days per week of the Pharisees.

Without the new life in the Spirit, we won't have the discernment, strength, and purity of motivation which is important for an extensive fast. Jesus' kind of fasting was also different from Old Testament fasting because it was an action more than a reaction. Old Testament fasting was usually a reaction to sin and its disastrous results. However, Jesus used fasting to inaugurate His public ministry and the Church's first missionary journey.

Without a life of ministry and mission, we don't have a wineskin that can hold Jesus' way of fasting. If we have trouble fasting or don't see its value, most likely we must first change the old wineskin of our lifestyle.

 
Prayer: Father, lead me to drastically change my lifestyle. May I then experience a great need to fast.
Promise: "Let peoples serve you, and nations pay you homage." —Gn 27:29
Praise: St. Elizabeth's patience with her husband's unfaithfulness eventually led him to Christ.
 
(For a related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Fasting, or on audio AV 46-1 or video V-46.)
 
 
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 June 1, 2009 through July 31, 2009.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 5, 2009.
 
The Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 25, Issue 4
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