Fasting: Why do we fast? Homily for Friday, March 3, 2017

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Readings for Today

Fasting.  Well, it is Friday after Ash Wednesday and it is time to fast.  Well, more accurately, it is time to abstain from meat.  Either way, you might be wondering why it is that we do this.  Why is it we fast from things?  And why do we make a decision to abstain from meat?

These questions are common.  And these questions are the opposite of what the world tells us.  We can be tempted to give in to materialism, to greed, to selfishness, to getting more and more stuff.  After all, he who dies with the most stuff wins, right?

And yet, when love is involved, we understand why we fast.  Sacrificing is done when it benefits someone we love.  Parents sacrifice for kids.  We exercise, fasting from sitting on the couch and getting lazy.  We do not always eat what we want so that we can be healthy.  But, do we consider the fasting that is demanded by holiness?  Do we seek the Lord’s way? Do we think about God’s place in our own lives?

Fasting helps us to become more aware of the presence of God.  When we give up something for a greater good and a greater purpose, it is easier to see what God wants from us.  It is easier to look around us and to see what God gives us.  By fasting, you open our eyes to God.

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