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Living a Life of Holiness: The Need for Prayer, Fasting, and Penance.
Mass Readings: Thursday after Ash Wednesday
The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?" Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast." "(Mt 9:14-15)
As we venture into this Lenten season, we are reminded that living a spiritual life is not always easy. Fasting, penance, and prayer become part of our Lenten duties, but keeping up with these disciplines can sometimes be daunting as the journey gets longer. We peel away the bad habits we may have acquired over the past few months and start to focus on a deeper relationship with Christ. Surely the worldly challenges of the day will set in, and sometimes we will fall short, but we should not give up in these times.
"Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." James 1:2-3
In today's Gospel, we read the particular verse where Jesus says, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?" We can live our day-to-day lives with joy in our hearts, and today's world more than ever needs strong Catholic men and women to lead those that have lost faith. Maybe our tone and zeal for Christ will have an everlasting effect on someone. During this Lenten season, let us not forget that Christ indeed lives within our hearts. Let us not all mourn while we are on our journey, and remember that the Christian who is walking with Christ also walks in joy.