Daily Devotion


Matthew 6:16-18

And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.


Today is Ash Wednesday for those who follow the catholic liturgical traditions. This is the first day of Lent, occurring six and a half weeks before Easter. It is a solemn reminder of human mortality and the need for reconciliation with God and it marks the beginning of the penitential Lenten season. The common feature of this service is the imposition of ashes on our foreheads as a sign of the spirit of penitence which we are expected to keep this season of lent. How do we express our penitence before God? One of the common ways of expressing our penitence before God is fasting and this is what Jesus did in the forty days and forty nights in the wilderness. The practice of fasting is essentially giving up food or another worldly habit for a period of time in order to better focus your thoughts and attention on God. It is a time of giving undivided attention to our creator and neglect our self-interests and pleasure. It is usually joined by prayer and contemplation on the word of God as we seek to repent our sins. This is what Jesus did when he went into the wilderness to experience solitary life by solidifying his relationship with his father. In the Old Testament, fasting was common in grieving or repenting of sin. When fasting we deprive ourselves of food, drinks, and general pleasures and this is meant to deprive the flesh of its desires and thereby uplifting our spirits. Why is fasting and prayer important to us:

  1. It mortifies the power of the flesh.
  2. It brings spiritual growth.
  3. It brings breakthroughs to every area of our life.
  4. It brings deliverance.
  5. It strengthens our relationship with God.
  6. It helps to overcome temptations.
  7. It helps to abstain from sin.
  8. It invites the presence of God.
  9. It opens doors for blessings
  10. It brings restoration.

In today’s gospel, Jesus teaches us how we ought to fast and this is an important lesson for us as we begin our lent today. What Jesus is teaching is that fasting is not something we do in order to be seen by others. We fast to God not to other people hence it is not something that we should show off. During this period some fast for personal gratification and sometimes there is competitions among Christians as to who fast better than others. The moment we do that we become hypocrites. Our piety is not for getting approval by others or for demonstrating our holiness before them but it should be an earnest prayer to God alone who will only reward us. Therefore, this Lenten period is your personal time with God and please don’t be a supervisor of other people’s Lenten commitments.  


ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou

hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all them that are penitent:

Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we worthily

lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may

obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and

forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: