WEDNESDAY DAY 29
AS THEY MINISTERED TO THE LORD, AND FASTED…
Scripture Reading: Acts 13:2
In Matthew 6:16, Jesus didn’t say “if you fast,” but “when you fast.” I admit to you; I didn’t grow up in a tradition that emphasized fasting. But as I’ve incorporated it into my prayer life in my adulthood, I’ve seen powerful results.
If we were to meet an early Christian and ask about his or her most important spiritual discipline, the answer might surprise us. Or part of the answer. Because there’s a good chance “fasting” would be high on the list. In fact, the New Testament contains about 20 references to fasting (depending on the version or translation you’re using). It was an important and valued part of early Christian experience.
Yet some followers of Jesus today don’t fast. Some of us barely know what fasting is. Put simply, it is denying yourself something—usually (but not always) food—for a set period of time in order to focus your heart and mind more fully on God.
Early Christians fasted and prayed for clear direction and during special seasons of need. Fasting wasn’t only for special occasions, however; it was a way of exercising self-control and dethroning one’s all-too-human appetites while also aspiring to a new level of intimacy with and devotion to God. Fasting and prayer go together beautifully.
Child of God, consider a fast as a way of enriching and expanding your spiritual life. There are numerous ways to do it. You may fast from food—for a meal. A fast doesn’t have to be food-related. You may fast from a pleasure or a habit. Whatever you fast from and however you choose to do it, fasting can do wonderful and unexpected things in and for you—particularly if you soak your fast in prayer. “I have come to realize that some things only bend in prayer but will break through fasting.”
While fasting with the body, brothers and sisters, let us also fast in spirit. Let us loose every bond of iniquity; let us undo the knots of every contact made by violence; let us tear up all unjust agreements; let us give bread to the hungry and welcome to our house the poor who have no roof to cover them, that we may receive mercy from Christ our God.
MASS: WHITE 1 Jn 2:3-11; Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 5b-6 (R.11a) Accl: A light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel. Gospel Lk 2:22-35
1. Help us, Lord, to walk in Your obedience and be able to humble ourselves in fasting. Father, strengthen us to fix our eyes on Jesus. Deliver us, Father, from the schemes of the evil one, for You know how to rescue Your godly ones. Help us to take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. We praise You that with in temptation, You are faithful to give us a way to escape it.
Exercise: Reflect on Luke 2:37. Pray to join the 2022 DSD 21-day fasting starting from Monday January 3rd
Mediation: Matthew 5:6