A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 5: 33-39
The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, "The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same; but yours eat and drink." Jesus answered them, "Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days." And he also told them a parable. "No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Otherwise, he will tear the new and the piece from it will not match the old cloak. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins. And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, 'The old is good.'"
REFLECTION: "Can you make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them?"
Growing up we all had role models, or people who had such beautiful qualities that we wanted to be just like them. When an athlete runs the race and wins, we wonder how long and how did he prepare? There are people so disciplined that they always do what they promise, finish a project on time, and do it well. Again, we ask, how did they accomplish this self discipline?
They all had two things in common--mentors to teach them and the will to do well. When we hear a good homily we listen to the teachings several times. When we are with someone we love and respect we want to spend time with them as much as possible. So we don't leave their presence and we look forward to being with them.
With Jesus living and eating with the apostles, there was no need to do penance or fast, as the Son of God was before, with and beside them.
Now, when we want to be closer to God, we focus on Him alone. By removing food, something so fundamental for life, we empty ourselves completely, to make room for God. Fasting is a powerful spiritual discipline recommended by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Catholics have the saints who ran the race and won. We should learn from them how they did it.
St Augustine- "Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one's flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, and kindles the true light of chasitity. Enter again into yourself."
When life seems overwhelming, fast and empty yourself and allow God's word to be our nutrition.