March 5, 2017- A View from the Rectory Window

This past week, visiting the young men and women in our Parish Religious Education Program (PREP), I asked the same question in each class; “What are you giving up for Lent?” The answer was consistent – blank stares.

Fasting – God commanded it, Jesus practiced it, our Church has consistently preached the importance of it – fasting is a powerful and fundamental part of the Christian life.

But for many Catholics today, it’s more of an afterthought: something we may grudgingly do on Good Friday, perhaps on Ash Wednesday if we remember it.

So what, in essence, is fasting? It’s the deprivation of a good, in order to make a decision for a greater good.

What’s the point of fasting? It is to put all things and our spiritual life in a proper balance. It’s easy to take the good things God has given us for granted and reach for them whenever we feel like it, without thinking, without reference to the One Who gives us these things.

Fasting helps make more room for God in our life. Fasting is also good because it is submission to God.

Following the example of Jesus, Catholics are called to fast. At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus abstained from food and water for 40 days and nights in the desert reversing the disobedience of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, restoring our humanity and dependence upon God.

When we fast, it reminds us of our human frailty and helps us be more humble. Without humility, prayer and then our experience of God really can’t be unlocked. By realizing our weakness and       dependence on God, we can discover anew the depths of God’s mercy for us.

Some say that they choose to do something good in the place of fasting. While it is admirable to do ‘an additional good’ during this holy season of Lent, I pray we discover anew the irreplaceable value of fasting this Lent.

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Please join me:

Each Lent, our parish family joins with our Christian Sisters and brothers of other congregations in our community for Soup and Scripture.

This week, on Wednesday, March 8, beginning at 6:00pm, Saint Maximilian Kolbe Parish will host a Lenten soup dinner in the Resurrection Church extension.

The evening’s featured speaker, Pastor Melissa Doyle-Waid, commences at 7:00pm in the Church.

On Wednesday, March 22, I am scheduled to speak at Tuckahoe United Methodist Church on Route 49. Will you join me?

Father Pete                                    

Lent fish and loves