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Fasting and the Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the Gospel. Mark 1:15

In his Ash Wednesday audience in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said, “The ‘Repent, and believe in the Gospel’ is not only at the beginning of Christian life but accompanies it throughout, endures, is renewed and spreads, branching out into all its expressions. Every day is a favourable moment of grace because every day presses us to give ourselves to Jesus, to trust in him, to abide in him, to share his lifestyle, to learn true love from him, to follow him in the daily fulfilment of the Father’s will, the one great law of life. Every day, even when it is fraught with difficulties and toil, weariness and setbacks, even when we are tempted to leave the path of the following of Christ and withdraw into ourselves, into our selfishness, without realizing our need to open ourselves to the love of God in Christ, to live the same logic of justice and love.”

Every day is, indeed, a favorable moment of grace because every day we are blessed with the opportunity to give ourselves to Jesus, to trust in Him, to learn true love from Him, to follow Him in the daily fulfillment of the Father’s will.

Fasting helps us to see every day as a favorable moment of grace.  When we fast, we give ourselves to Jesus, we trust in him and in his words, we abide in him, we share his lifestyle, and we can learn true love and selflessness.

Jesus Himself fasted and He wants us to fast. By fasting, we can take our relationship with God and deepen it.  By fasting, we can say “Yes” to God.

Don’t worry about the difficulties and toil and setbacks.  There will always be temptations, but with fasting, we can strengthen our self-control.

Today let us pray and fast for all the community intentions, for victims of recent earthquakes, for the conversion of sinners and for peace in the world.

Holy Mary, pray for us!  Holy Spirit, teach us to pray!

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