"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
The Liturgical Year of the Catholic Church is finished this month of November and a new period starts also in the same period. As we prepare for the Christmas season, we, the followers of Jesus Christ are invited to go on fasting. Many of us were brought up as Catholics to fast. And when we encounter the word “fasting”, we always think of food. However, “fasting” has a deeper meaning in our spiritual life. I would like to share with you the meaning and values of “fasting” in my search for a more meaningful life with El Shaddai.
1. FAST from JUDGING OTHERS.
Before making any judgement, recall how Jesus overlooked your faults and shortcomings. He is the God who does not look back to your past lives but the same God who erased your bad experiences and cover you with His grace from the time you draw near to Him and accepted Him as you Saviour and Master.
2. FAST from ANGER AND HATRED.
Give your family an extra dose of love each day. Most of the times, our loved ones are the people we always take for granted. They are always with us and their presence seems to be non-event. Let us not wait for the time to come where it is too late to tell them – YOU LOVE THEM VERY MUCH.
3. FAST from RESENTMENT AND BITTERNESS.
Work on forgiving those who may have hurt you. It is not easy to forgive and forget but with the grace coming from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, there is nothing that we cannot do. We can have the courage to forgive in Jesus who strengthens us.
4. FAST from COMPLAINING.
When you find yourself about to complain, close your eyes and recall some of the little moments of joy that Jesus has given you. Let us not desire what we cannot attain but rather look at the things we now have. These are the blessings that God has poured to us. Give thanks!
5. FAST from DISCOURAGEMENT.
Hold on to Jesus’ promise that He has a perfect plan for your life. He gave us His promise to provide us with a complete, joyful and peaceful life. “Take courage and be not afraid.”, says the Lord.
6. FAST from SPENDING TOO MUCH MONEY.
Be generous at the time of your abundance. Try to reduce your spending by 10% this season and give those savings to the needy. God wants us to possess money but He does not want us to be obsessed by money.
Copyright 2009 Bro. Francis A.
El Shaddai House
Tel/Fax: (02) 9625 5333