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Monday, July 6, 2015

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St. Maria Goretti

Genesis 28:10-22
Psalm 91:1-4, 14-15
Matthew 9:18-26

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the fast track

"Before Jesus had finished speaking to them, a synagogue leader came up." —Matthew 9:18

While Jesus was talking about a new way of living and fasting, "a synagogue leader came up, did Him reverence, and said: 'My daughter has just died. Please come and lay Your hand on her and she will come back to life' " (Mt 9:18). Jesus then raised the little girl from the dead (Mt 9:25). This resurrection-miracle immediately followed His healing a woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years (Mt 9:22). These miracles of healing and resurrection are put in the context of Jesus' words on fasting. This may imply that fasting according to Jesus' will is powerful enough to heal the sick, even the long-term sick, and to raise the dead.

I have not seen many people take Jesus seriously about fasting, but the few who have fasted as Jesus has directed have not had any complaints. They have found that the Bible's promises relating to fasting are all true and in fact understated. A few of the saints have realized this, and they have sought God's permission to fast very frequently.

Many of us feel helpless surrounded by a "culture of death." We wish we could do something to love the Lord and serve His people. Fasting may be one of our best opportunities to express our love. Make July a "fast month."

Prayer:  Jesus, teach us to pray (Lk 11:1) and fast. Make me docile.

Promise:  "There was the Lord standing beside him." —Gn 28:13

Praise:  St. Maria Goretti's mother was widowed with seven small children. She suffered the brutal murder of her twelve-year-old daughter Maria. Yet she forgave her daughter's murderer. God rewarded her by allowing her to be alive to witness her daughter's canonization as a saint forty-eight years later.

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, December 18, 2014

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