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Jesus uses the image of the secret place in his teaching about fasting. Fasting is one of the “means of grace,” taught by John Wesley and uplifted in other spiritual traditions. By setting a limit to our response to the appetite for food, the soul is purified, the focus shifting to God alone as nourishment, as is found in Deut. 8:3 and Matt 4:4: “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (NRSV). The other means of grace are prayer, searching the Scriptures, Holy Communion, and holy conversation.
Listen to these words from the Sermon on the Mount as special inspirations from the Lord to live this season in the grace that flows from that mountain.
Father in secret rewards. v. 18
Where my treasure, there my heart v. 21
More value than birds of air v. 26
Kingdom first, all else given v. 33
This is the Seventh Week in Epiphany, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
We read the Gospel of Matthew, except during Advent, the Infancy Narratives of Luke.
The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.