Both of today’s readings (Isaiah 58:1-9 and Matthew 9:14-15) speak about fasting. It isn’t my favorite subject. I do fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and sometimes I wonder if I will really make it through the day. I count on my food. So, when I know I have to limit myself, I miss it 10x more. Why is that? Why does human nature do this? When we can’t have something is when we want it the most. I can not eat for most of a day on other days and only eat one full meal without a difficulty when I get too busy to stop to eat. But, when I HAVE to do it, it becomes an almost insurmountable mountain in my mind (and my growling stomach)!
I really wish I had the answers to this, for it is a part of our religious tradition that I struggle with regularly. I do know that as I struggle, it comes to mind even more the reasons I am even trying to make the struggle. For Jesus. Because He sacrificed and struggled to the death so that I wouldn’t have to. Maybe ultimately, that is the reason why it is so much harder to fast when we have to than when we do it unknowingly.
For that reason alone, I won’t complain. I won’t grumble (although I can’t speak for my stomach who does protest pretty loudly). I won’t shy away from this hard task. Instead, I will meet it head on, very aware of its difficulties and inherent struggles. For Jesus, how can I refuse?