October 9, 2015 A.D.
We received this note yesterday afternoon:
“This is only day 2 and I am finding it a great sacrifice to do the bread and water fast. Please pray for me to be able to continue.”
The difficuty this person is experiencing is being shared by many across the world who are doing this 9-day fast for the first time. However, God is following our actions and blessing us. When we announced the 9-day bread and water fast back in August, there was no knowledge how closely God would be walking with us, sharing these days and carefully watching our steps. It is no coincidence that the daily Mass readings speak directly to us.
October 6 Daily Mass Reading - The day before the fast began and Caritas feast day*:
“Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, ‘Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,’ when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.” Jonah 3:4-6
The 9-day fast began the day after this reading above. The prayer for the 9-day fasting Novena reads:
“O Queen of Heaven, we unite ourselves with others across the land in a holy fast, reminiscent of the so many times ancient Israel cried out in repentance to their God. By their history, we know God the Most High will hear our cry…”
October 7 Daily Mass Reading - First Day of the 9-day Fast:
“Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.’” Luke 11:1-4
Daily bread, this is literally our sustenance each day of this fast. Give us each day our daily bread, for the next 9-days.
October 8 Daily Mass Reading - Second Day of the 9-day Fast:
“For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven, when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, And the day that is coming will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branch, says the LORD of hosts. But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” Malachi 3:19-20
“Jesus said to his disciples: “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him... I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.’” Luke 11:5-6,8
The ovens that bake our bread speak to us of the fury of God against those who openly reject Him. This 9-day fast is to humble our hearts before God, with the persistence Jesus speaks of in Luke's Gospel. God will provide the loaves of His mercy to us.
October 9 Daily Mass Reading - Third Day of the 9-day Fast:
“Come, spend the night in sackcloth, O ministers of my God! The house of your God is deprived of offering and libation. Proclaim a fast, call an assembly; Gather the elders, all who dwell in the land, Into the house of the LORD, your God, and cry to the LORD!” Joel 1:13-14
The 9-day Fasting Novena prayer reads:
“We humble ourselves because of our sins. Seek, Mary our Queen, on our behalf, that the Lord not look upon our sins, but the love we show Him through this fast…”
With our fast, we are crying out to the Lord. And though 9 days on bread and water are difficult, especially for those doing this for the first time, Our Lady shows how closely She walks with us. She just said on October 2, 2015:
Do we need anything more to understand that God and Our Lady are walking with us each day?
Encouraging you to persevering in prayer...