Into the desert (2/22)
Happy Monday everyone! Yesterday was the First Sunday of Lent, so let’s hear these words from Luke 9:
23 “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
We are instructed to fast during Lent, but what does this mean? Fasting is a way of practicing self-control and discipline, and we usually fast by means of food during Lent. Really, we can fast by denying ourselves of anything we enjoy. In this passage from Luke, Jesus tells us that in order to be His disciple, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross.
We do this by denying ourselves of any doubt, fear, or distraction that may separate us from our Lord. We must love and trust Him enough to drop everything we have to follow Him. We must preach the Gospel without shame, and give to others just as God has given to us. This requires effort and passion- discipleship is not passive. Jesus calls us to be extraordinary and He gives us the strength to do so. By denying ourselves, feeding our spirit, and taking up our crosses, we strengthen our faith and grow closer to God.
What does God need you to fast from? Pope Francis recently gave a list of things we could fast from this Lent, including hurtful words, grudges, complaints, anger, and more. I highly recommend looking into his list if you need ideas, or if you are looking to add more to your Lenten fast. We are praying for you all, and hope you have a great week!
(PS- Do you want to write a Monday Ministry? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!)