Second Sunday of Lent
February 28, 2021
As we embark once more on our Lenten journey, we are reminded that the path to Easter joy is paved with prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. I don’t know about you, but I have never been a big fan of fasting! I don’t want to go six weeks without chocolate or pizza or the radio in the car or my favorite TV show or whatever new agony I can dream up this year. I don’t want to eat only one full meal with nothing in between on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. I don’t like to be hungry…..
Of course I don’t like to be hungry – no one does; especially the people who don’t have a refrigerator full of food waiting for them when the fasting is over. So, when I cut back for two days per year on the amount of food that I normally eat, I can better identify with my brothers and sisters who are hungry on a regular basis and who don’t know for sure when that hunger will be satisfied. Maybe having my stomach rumble for a day will open my heart to those who experience this feeling more often than two days a year.
Another positive aspect of self-denial (fasting) is that it provides me with an opportunity to do things that I don’t usually have time for. For instance, if I’m not listening to the radio in the car, I can use that time to pray the rosary or to soak in the beauty of nature around me. If I’m not watching my favorite TV show, maybe I can play a board game with my family or call a friend who is lonely, instead.
So, you may ask, what about the chocolate and the pizza? How does it benefit a person to go without those life essentials? Well, the wanting but not having reminds me that I am not the center of the universe. And once I realize that; I have a better chance of recognizing and seeking out the true center of the universe – God.
When I consider fasting from those angles, maybe it’s not so bad after all!