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Friday, September 6, 1996

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1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Psalm 37
Luke 5:33-39

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in the fast lane

"They will surely fast in those days." —Luke 5:35

Today is Friday. It is the traditional day of the week to fast. As we fast, we can more deeply realize and appreciate Jesus' death for love of us. As we fast, we can prepare for the center of our lives, the communal worship of the risen Christ at Sunday Mass.

Fasting is such an explosively powerful calling that the very pattern of our lives must change prior to undertaking serious fasting (Lk 5:36-37). Then fasting will transform our lives even more. The few pounds we may lose by regular fasting are a sacramental sign of amazing developments interiorly and internationally (see Pope John Paul II's encyclical letter, The Gospel of Life, 100). When we fast according to God's will, those bound unjustly are released, and the oppressed are set free (Is 58:6). In fasting, we can receive light, healing, vindication, and glory (Is 58:8). When we fast, we pray with power (Is 58:9), walk in wisdom and strength (Is 58:11), and even rebuild ancient ruins and ruined homesteads (Is 58:12). In fasting, we shall delight in the Lord and ride on the heights of the earth (Is 58:14).

Considering the glories of fasting, we would expect everyone to be begging God for the permission and privilege to fast. However, many Christians are ignorant about the place of fasting in God's plan, and many don't believe God's word on fasting. We must fast by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). Believe; love God; obey Him; fast.

Prayer:  Father, teach me to pray and to fast.

Promise:  "Men should regard us as servants of Christ and administrators of the mysteries of God." —1 Cor 4:1

Praise:  Peter fasts on Fridays, because Jesus died for him on that day.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Fasting.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, January 29, 1996

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 5, 1996