(Day 1 of the 3-day prayers and fasting)
Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:28-32
Brethren, we welcome you to our three-day prayers and fasting for this month. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that deepens our intimate relationship with God and increases effectiveness and concentration in intercessory prayer, guides decision-making, and enhances physical well-being. Fasting allows an inner solitude that sets aside time and space for unceasing prayer and undivided attention to God’s presence and purpose. Fasting from food without fasting from sin has no spiritual benefit. A Priest put it thus, “To fast from food without fasting from sin is dieting.” So, a call to fast is a call to repentance.
Today’s reflection calls us to repentance (change of mind). As we approach the Throne of God for these three days of prayers and fasting, we must repent from all sins; we must decide and act in obedience to God’s word. Sincere repentance goes with obedience.
Today, Jesus tells you particularly, “Now is the time to obey me; do not post-pone your repentance.” God is interested in your obedience. Stop the hypocrisy and pretense now. God cannot be deceived. He sees our private and hidden thoughts and actions. Repent and obey. Child of God, “… tear your heart and not your clothes, and turn to the LORD your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He repents of the evil.” (Joel 2:12-13) The Psalmist says,” I acknowledge my sin to You, and my iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the LORD; and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” (Psa. 32:5)
For Catholics, three things are required for a valid sacramental confession. First, the Catholic must examine his conscience honestly and thoroughly and must not withhold confession of any mortal sin. (CCC 1456) Second, the confessor must be contrite and repentant. (CCC 1451) A contrite person will seek the Sacrament of Confession because he is sorry for his sins; but if the inner intention is to enter the Sacrament with the mind of committing the sin later, then such is not sorry for his sins and cannot obtain forgiveness. Finally, the confessor must complete the penance assigned to him by the priest as soon as possible. (CCC 1494) Remember, if you hide iniquity in your heart God will not hear you.
MASS: GREEN/WHITE Deut. 34:1-12; Ps. 66:1-3a.5.8.16-17(R.20a, 9a); Accl. 2 Cor. 5:19; Matt. 18:15-20 ST. STEPHEN OF HUNGARY (OPT MEM)
Prayer Points:
1. Take a song of mercy and repentance.
2. Take the “Act of Contrition”.
3. Take the prayer, “Healing Prayer of Surrender” in “Amen: It is done”.
4. Take the prayer of “Deliverance and Renunciation of Sexual Sin” in “Amen: It is Done”.
5. Take the prayer of “Removing Demonic Influence” in “Amen: It is Done”.
6. Pray as the spirit directs you.
Exercise: Catholics should go to confessions and prayer the “Rosary of Divine Mercy” at midnight.
Meditation: Daniel 9:20