Fasting is not a sideshow
Why the Lenten practice of fasting is a witness to the world
Then the disciples of John approached him and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast (much), but your disciples do not fast?”
When we think of fasting, we think of the withholding of food, restriction, and sadness. Going without is not something that humans look forward to, especially when it is a mandate.
In today’s gospel, the disciples of John ask Jesus why they and the Pharisees fast but his disciples do not.
The question in and of itself shows the condition of their hearts, but it also shows ours too.
How is your disposition towards Lenten fasting? How about the promise you made to God about what you would give up or go without? Does the thought of giving up that something bring you great joy or does it make you resentful towards the God of the universe?
The act of fasting during Lent helps us to check the condition of our hearts and the disposition of our souls. Are we too questioning Jesus as to why He is making us suffer, or do we see our fasting as an offering that brings us closer to Him?
It’s not too late to meditate on what you have given up for Lent; to check your intentions. Hold that thing before God and ask Him to purify those intentions and to speak to you about where your heart is.
Are you giving it up for God or are you giving it up for others to see?
In the end, Lent is not about what we withhold, but what we give to God as a sacrifice of our love for Him. It is in fact a witness to the whole world.