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MONDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME JANUARY 17, 2022 MEMORIAL OF ST ANTHONY



A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mk 2:18-22


The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to Jesus and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”


REFLECTION

“then they will fast on that day”


Do we want a new and better relationship with God? Have you had the extraordinary feeling of being relieved of a burden? Are we wanting a better life?


Then, pray and fast!


Praying and fasting will bear fruit as our relationship with God flows into our relationship with others.


Fasting is mentioned throughout the Bible. Jesus said fasting was as necessary as prayer (Mt 6:16). He also stated that certain demons can not be expelled except by prayer and fasting ( Mk 9:29) The Church has days of fasting during Lent: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.


St. Anthony (Today's saint) led a monastic life, fasting and praying


Fasting is a means to holiness. It could be abstinence from food but can also include a fast of action, thoughts, alcohol, shopping, talking, sin, social media and bad habits to name a few.


Wars and natural catastrophes can be prevented by fasting and prayer. Fasting as a way for spiritual growth is not as popular as it was in a prior generation. It is, however, very important.


Still not convinced one should fast?


Jesus said that as long as He was still here on earth, there was no need for His apostles to fast. But once He was gone, one needed to fast to get closer to God, change or relieve critical situations.


By prayer we attach ourselves to God. By fasting we rid ourselves of worldly things and allow God to enter and change our hearts and minds.


Now what? Fasting helps our self control. Master ourselves and place ourselves in the hands of the Lord.


It is easier to pray when we fast and we fast better when we pray.

Thanking God for all He has done for us.

God bless you


*Fasting by Father Slavko Barbaric, O.F.M



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