Reading and meditation on the Word of God, Friday of the 22nd week in ordinary time, September 3, 2021; memorial of Saint Gregory the Great; Pope and Doctor of the Church

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"All things were created through Him and for Him. Reading and meditation on the Word of God, Friday of the 22nd week in ordinary time, September 3, 2021. Reading is delivered by Theodorus Kefi and meditation is delivered by Yuliana Dameria from Saint Peter's School in Jakarta, Indonesia. Colossians 1: 15-20; Rs psalm 100: 2-5; Luke 5: 33-39"


The theme for our meditation today is: The Essence of Fasting. There was a young man who used to fast every Friday since he was in college. While working at a company, he continued this good habit. And after marriage, he still fasts on Fridays as usual. Not only does he eat nothing but drink water, he also not wants to be demanded with any particular business. He turned off all access to social media, except for regular telephones to his cellphone. For him, fasting is a situation of not exist.

When someone wants to meet, he is sure that the one he wants to meet is at home, because in fact he is in the house. But when asked to the people in the house, the answer they always give is that the person intended is nowhere to find. In short, that family man really has an understanding that fasting causes someone “non existent" so that other people would know that he is not there. He is fasting.

This understanding of nothingness or non-existence caused by an act of fasting is what Jesus wants to teach those who do not understand the essence of fasting. Once Jesus said that when He was present and was with the disciples and many others, they should not practice fasting. Only when He was no longer with them, then they fasted. Meanwhile, when there is a presence where people interact, work together, complement each other, and build togetherness, its essence is a feast of life. In this situation, people are not in a moment to experience absence or nothingness.

In fact, every time we fast we create nothingness and are willing to enjoy it. For example, if a person does not eat and drink, it means that he does not experience the presence of food and drink during the moment of fasting. People who fast and abstain from cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, it means that they don’t spend money for cigarettes and drinks. People fast from shopping favorite things for the sake of pleasure or show-off, this means that they avoid using their money to buy those favorite things.

In the manner of spiritual life, people who practice fasting choose to eliminate worldly needs or interests, so that their souls are not contaminated with those influences, then they concentrate only in the intimate relationship with God. This is the essence of fasting. Let us ask for the help of Saint Gregory the Great, a generous and apostolic leader of the Church, to pray for and accompany us as we fast.

Let's pray. In the name of the Father... O God, look upon us with Your mercy so that we may renew the spirit of our faith from the way of pretense or indifference to sincerity and generosity. Hail Mary full of grace... In the name of the Father...