Friday, February 19, 2010

Pure Motivation

But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then they will fast.’ Mt. 9:15

Jesus is countering the Pharisees’ accusation that His disciples don’t fast as they do. As in today’s first reading from Isaiah, Jesus puts the spotlight on the motivation for fasting. The act of fasting by itself is not the point. It’s the conversion of the heart that is the sanctifying act.

I don’t find fasting easy. The headaches from my coffee withdrawal and light-headedness from missing breakfast don’t make me want to rush in and embrace this Lenten observance. Yet, the Church places fasting firmly among the three Lenten traditional practices: Prayer, alms-giving and fasting. Now, the prayer I don’t mind…

So, what’s the antidote to my avoidance? Look at the heart benefit. As promised in Isaiah, when pure motivation gives pure fasting: “Then will your light shine like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed over.” What a promise!

Lord Jesus, help me have a pure motivation to fast this Lent, that my light may shine and my wound be healed.

Little Flower, please pray for me.

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