As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him. Matt 9:9
Today’s Gospel reminds us that anyone who wishes to follow Christ must truly follow Him in all ways. Following Jesus, denying ourselves, taking up our crosses: these are not easy things to do. And without God’s grace, they are impossible.
Jesus and His disciples fasted. Jesus said, “when you fast,” and not “if you fast.” There are examples in Scripture that illustrate certain demons can only be expelled with prayer and fasting. When we fast, we learn to embrace our crosses.
Fasting gives us the practice to do without foods (and drinks) we enjoy. Fasting helps us to deny ourselves. Fasting gives us the ability to learn the difference between wanting and needing.
Today, let us fast and pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and for the community intentions. Let us also fast and pray for all those who are suffering here on earth, that they can embrace their suffering.
Holy Mary, pray for us! Holy Spirit, teach us to pray! St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!