I woke up with pain all over my body. But I knew I have to endure them all, I have to get up and go to work…not only because I need the money to provide for my kids but also because I made a promise or a contract that I have to go to unless I suddenly fall ill. I have to honor that contract. Moreover, working doesn’t only provide my financial needs, but also fills my need for personal growth and accomplishments either in talents, relationships or social aspects. Those are the reasons why I go to work everyday. Some days full of vigor and enthusiasm; some days are less energetic that I have to drag myself. I know my purpose and I am determined to stay on the course to reach my goal.
Today is Friday after Ash Wednesday, and the Catholic Church calls us for fasting and abstinence from meat. In the first reading the Lord said, “Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high.” – Isaiah 58:3-4.
These verses made me think of my motives for fasting. Am I doing it with the right reasons? Or is it for a show of self and my righteousness? Or am I fasting because I want to gain heaven or atone for my sins? Am I doing it because I was told to even though I don’t know why? Do I use fasting because I want to loose some weight and become slimmer before summer?
Fasting is never about me or for me. Of course, it starts from the inside…from the heart and the surrender of will. It is a choice and a decision I have to take. Nevertheless, the desire to fast is a grace from God. It is a gift from a merciful and loving Father to His beloved children. And a gift is not for us to keep but to share with others. Fasting is never about me. It is about others and about giving glory to God.
“Father, search my heart and uproot all the wrong motives that reside in there. Sow your seeds of steadfastness, determination and purpose inside me. Teach me your ways. Discipline my heart, my body, my soul and my spirit; that I may endure and persevere on this Lenten journey. May I render to you the most pleasurable offerings and give you all the glory you deserve. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!”