PUNCHING BAG

“On that day they will fast.” –Mark 2:20

Many years ago there was an expression: “He couldn’t punch his way out of a wet paper bag.” This was a way of calling someone a weakling.

People questioned why Jesus’ disciples did not fast. Jesus answered that the fasting by His disciples would be so powerful and extreme that their lives wouldn’t be able to take the effects of it. It would be like pouring fermenting, volatile new wine into an old wineskin (Mk 2:22). Only after Jesus’ death, Resurrection, and Ascension into heaven culminating in Pentecost would His disciples have the life and lifestyle to contain the explosiveness of New Testament fasting.

  • Do you fast?
  • Do you fast at least weekly?
  • Do you believe that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil? (Gospel of Life, Pope St. John Paul II, 100; cf Mt 17:21, NAB)
  • How much punch, wallop, and explosive power does your fasting have?
  • Can you fast your way out of a wet paper bag? Can you fast your way out of a culture of death?
  • Fast and you shall receive.

PRAYER: Father, teach me and empower me to fast explosively.
PROMISE: “He became the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.” –Heb 5:9
PRAISE: St. Agnes, a twelve-year-old girl, chose to die as a martyr rather than renounce a vow of virginity she made when she gave her life to Jesus.

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