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Saturday, February 17, 2024

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Seven Founders of the Order of Servites

Isaiah 58:9-14
Psalm 86:1-6
Luke 5:27-32

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the seed of fasting

“Hearken, O Lord, to my prayer and attend to the sound of my pleading.” —Psalm 86:6

Yesterday, the Church read the first half of Isaiah 58 during the Mass. Today the Church reads the second half of the chapter. The entire chapter discusses the kind of fasting God desires (Is 58:6).

Fasting is the kernel of Lent. By imitating Jesus’ forty-day fast this Lent, we will reap a great spiritual harvest throughout Easter culminating in Pentecost. For fasting to grow, we must pull out the weeds of “oppression, false accusation and malicious speech” (Is 58:9). We must till the soil by pouring ourselves out for the hungry (Is 58:10). Then we will reap a miraculous first harvest of light, guidance, abundance, strength, and restoration (see Is 58:10-12). Then, if we further till the soil by keeping holy the Lord’s Day (see Is 58:13), we will reap a second harvest in which we “delight in the Lord” and “ride on the heights of the earth” (Is 58:14).

Fasting is a precious, fragile seed. It is difficult to plant it properly. It is even more difficult to keep it growing. Nevertheless, if we follow up on fasting as delineated by the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, we will harvest fruits which are precious and almost unimaginable. Let the Lord work through you in fasting.

Prayer:  Father, may this Lenten fast be the fast of a lifetime.

Promise:  “Leaving everything behind, Levi stood up and became His follower.” —Lk 5:28

Praise:  In 1240, seven noblemen of Florence, Italy, withdrew to a solitary place for prayer and service to God. In 1244, they adopted a habit and became known as Servants of Mary. Members came to the United States of America in 1852.


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