Father Alex Yeung, LC
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."
Introductory Prayer: Lord,
you know how much I need you and depend
on you for everything. You know my weakness and
my faults. I put all my confidence in your love
and mercy. I wish to trust in your power,
your promise, and your grace every day. Today I intend,
with your help, to follow you along the way
of the cross with love and generosity so as
to draw close to you.
let me learn to embrace sacrifice as the way
of reparation and purification.
1. Sharing in Christ’s Sufferings:
Jesus said the time would come when his disciples would
fast. Now that the Lord has returned in glory
to the Father, it is up to us to
continue the work of salvation, “what is lacking in Christ´s
afflictions for the sake of his body, that is,
the church” (Colossians 1:24), as St. Paul says. We join
our sacrifice to that of Jesus in order to
imitate him and bring grace to ourselves and to others.
Every Christian life must incorporate a healthy spirit of
sacrifice and self-denial.
2. Physical and Spiritual Hunger: The
hunger we experience when we fast is a symbol of
the deeper spiritual hunger we should feel for God
and for heaven. This world often makes us all
too comfortable, and we easily forget that this is not
our true home. We are pilgrims traveling through a
foreign land, far from our final resting place. Fasting
reminds us of the longing a traveler has to reach
his destination safely and finally to rejoice in being
home for good. The true Christian looks forward with
hope toward heaven, where he will rest with God
forever in true happiness. He knows that all the good
things this world offers are only shadows of the
wonderful things God has planned for those who love
him (cf. Romans 8:28).
3. Thirst for Souls: From the
cross, Jesus said, “I thirst.” That thirst was for all
people to be reconciled to the Father. It was
a thirst for souls to return to the love of
God and find their way to the heavenly Kingdom.
Voluntary sacrifice and self-denial, if we offer it for
the conversion of the hearts of others, brings them
the grace they need to change and turn back to
God. No one can convert himself, and no one
in serious sin can merit his way to the
grace of God. We need to intercede by means of
our personal prayer and sacrifice to gain others the
supernatural grace they need to overcome their obstacles. The
greatest act of charity we can perform and the greatest
joy we can experience is to bring a soul
back to the Lord. How many souls are waiting
for our prayer and sacrifice?
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, make me generous and joyful in sacrifice, knowing
that sacrifice unites me closer to you and wins
the grace of conversion for so many souls you love
and for whom you died.
I will choose one person I know who needs
God’s grace and offer all my sacrifices today for