Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:15

Brethren, Jesus is our example par excellence on the vital spiritual exercise of fasting.  The scripture tells us that before He began His public ministry, He was “led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” (Matthew 4:1) Just as the first Adam was tempted by the serpent and failed by eating the fruit, so the second Adam, Jesus, was tempted by Satan, and yet resisted him by not eating.  Satan tempted Jesus to break His fast by turning stones into loaves of bread, at which Jesus countered him, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” Jesus’ fast spiritually prepared His humanity to confront and resist the devil. Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith, and then, exorcised the demon.  Later, when the disciples asked Jesus why they could not cast it out, He replied, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:29) Prayer and fasting are fundamental tools we have to overcome the devil and his minions, and temptations. Fasting is a powerful weapon.

Fasting, self-denial and mortification are efficacious for the conversion of others.  St. Paul captured this eloquently when he wrote, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body.” (Colossians 1:24) This passage is true for us. Intercessory prayer and fasting is exactly the message of Fatima as well.  Our Lady of Fatima said, “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them.”  Mary revealed that our prayers and sacrifices are truly efficacious reparations, in which we can even positively affect someone’s eternal destiny. Beloved, heaven is waiting for our daily prayers, sacrifices, and fasts.

MASS:  VIOLET:  ST. PETER CANISIUS, P, DR Song of Solomon 2: 8-14; Ps 33: 2-3. 11-12. 20-21(R.1a, 3a); Accl: O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver! Come and save us, O Lord our God.  Gospel Lk 1: 39-45

Prayer Point:

               1.            Lord Jesus, thank You for Your word and for calling me to fast and pray. I ask You for grace to imbibe the spiritual discipline of fasting. Help to abstain from food or other things for my good and the good of others. Grant me the burden to pray and fast for the salvation of others. When I fast, help me to be spiritually minded, and charitable. All these I ask in the Name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

Exercise: IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Prayerfully plan to partake in the DSD 2022 21-Day fasting, STARTING ON MONDAY 3RD TO WEDNESDAY 26TH JANUARY, 2022.  General round off will be from WEDNESDAY 26TH TO FRIDAY 28TH (VIGIL) JANUARY, 2022.

Meditation: Luke 4:14