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?

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