Today’s reading on fasting is a good reminder to keep the correct focus on our sacrificial practice. Any sacrificial activity that has other motivations changes the focus from God and his people to oneself. Those of us who are accustomed to the bounty of three meals a day can benefit from the Lenten fast in many ways.
I was thinking of an Ash Wednesday during trip to Haiti made a number of years ago. We attended the Ash Wednesday liturgy held outdoors and received the traditional cross of ashes on our foreheads. After Mass, we asked one of the Haitian Sisters about the fasting requirements for Haiti. She smiled and said, some here in Haiti have Lent year round. We don’t know some days when the next meal will be possible so when food is available it is eaten.
We should consider it a privilege to fast during these Lenten days. We can take on the experience of so many of God’s people throughout the world. For them one main meal and two other smaller meals a day would not be fasting but feasting. Perhaps we can feast on a little bit of hunger in order to live in solidarity with those in our world who live the fast every day of the year.