Monday, February 07, 2005

A meditation on fasting

Today is Monday, 7th February, two days before Catholics observe ash-Wednesday. I personally do not wait for lent to fast. And this time, I want to meditate on the bible while I fast. I want a meaningful fast with prayer and scripture.
I have an HTML bible. And I turn to the gospel of Luke, chapter 4. The verses are about Jesus temptation after he was baptized in the river Jordan. The first is the temptation of bread. Jesus has fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. At the end of this, he is hungry. The devil asks him to turn the loaves into bread. He says it is written "man shall not live on bread alone".
I say, let this be the passage on which I will meditate now. "Man shall not live on bread alone". Then I go to the gospel of Matthew which says - "Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God". So it will be in our lives. We will look deeper than mere food, fun and success in life. We will offer this moment to God above. We will trust in the name of Jesus Christ. We will get ourselves feel hunger. We will let ourselves bear the pangs of our poorest brothers. We will remember the time when Jesus faced those temptations.
"Man shall not live on bread alone". How do we think of someone who has donated for a cause like tsunami relief? Do we feel we are doing something good? Certainly. And yet Jesus says that taking care of oneself is something we should not worry about. That we should keep others before ourselves.
So the overpowering self pity is my temptation. Telling me I am a good lad for having fasted. But I tell myself - grow up Terence. You are wise and strong. You know how important is God's will in your life. You know that without a foundation, you cannot stand. You know that you bear fruit only if you receives God's message. You know. You know that Jesus is the real vine and you are a branches as are all chosen people. You only bear fruit while you are connected to the main stem of the vine.

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