Feb 24, 2016
As soon as Jonah the Prophet called on people to repent, the reaction was so positive: "So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast". It was a pure, honest fasting. We don't know how or when did they learn it! To this fasting, our Lord Jesus testified, "The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah" (Luke 11:32). They didn't belittle the call, but rather took it seriously. The expression, "proclaimed a fast" resembles a country declaring a state of emergency, and thus each member in it turns into a vigilant citizen in a state of utmost preparation. I wish to declare this serious spiritual state inside me.
Our good God, I know that You yearn to a fervent fasting from us, a fast in which we toil and leave behind our comfort, thoughts, occupations away from You by many things, our laziness and the pride of our hearts. O my Lord Jesus, I hereby say to You, "I also yearn to present to You a pure, chaste fast that pleases You". Every time I complain and feel that the fast is burdensome, it is because I still have not understood what fasting does to us, how it changes our hearts, and even how it showers Your mercies on us. We fast for the Church, for our salvation, for the salvation of the whole world, and for the sake of Your Holy Name which is called upon us, so grant us a special taste to enjoy our fast.