WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION FOR FASTING? | Friday after Ash Wednesday| Day 3

Child of God, are you fasting because others are fasting, or because the Church demands you fast during Lent? If your motivation is not pure or borne out of force or compulsion, you will not obtain the merits of this spiritual exercise. How then should you fast, you ask me? What should be my motivation for fasting? To know what the Lord demands of you, read slowly...

cf Isaiah 58:1-9

Thus, says the Lord: Look, you serve your own interests on your fast-days, you oppress all your workmen; look, you quarrel and squabble when you fast and strike the poor man with your fist. Fasting like yours today will never make your voice heard on high. Is that the sort of fast that pleases me, a truly penitential day for men? Is this not the sort of fast that pleases me… to break unjust fetters and undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke, to share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor, to clothe the man you see to be naked and not turn from your own kin?


1. Child of God, on this day, the third day of our journey with Jesus, the word of God calls us to reflect on fasting which is an important theme in this season. Fasting is profitable when it is done for motives of increasing in favour, grace and holiness, or when it done as penance for the expiation of temporal punishments due to sins. Hence fasting should make us better persons. We would be deceiving ourselves if we fast but harbour anger, unforgiveness and pride.

2. Fasting should not be a spiritual exercise reserved for Lenten season alone, in fact the church teaches that all Fridays of the year are also days of penance, abstinence or fasting. By this teaching the Church affirms Jesus’ response to those who asked him why his disciples don’t fast. Jesus said, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of mourning as long as the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then they will fast. This statement is fulfilled today. That time is now, you must fast for Jesus have been taken away from us, but at same time your fast does not stop you from receiving the Holy communion at mass, for the mass is truly the Wedding feast of the Lamb, where the bridegroom- Jesus, is made present and then we (his attendants) shouldn’t mourn.

TASK: Save the fruits of your fasting and abstinence and give it as alms to the poor. Don’t eat what you have denied yourself, otherwise you would be dieting and not fasting. Remember also, "if fasting from 'flesh' would cause you to devour the 'flesh' of your neighbour, better eat flesh and keep good relationship with your neighbour. God bless you. Amen

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  1. Devour the flesh of your neighbor...... one rather not fast. Thanks for this piece Fr

    1. Thanks gift for reading through. God bless you. Don't forget to share

  2. May God help to have a good fast. Amen


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