God Rewards Those Who Fast
Jesus said, "When you fast, do not look sullen like the hypocrites, for they make their faces unattractive so that people will see them fasting. I tell you the truth, they have their reward. When you fast put oil on your head and wash your face so that it will not be obvious to others when you are fasting, but only to your Father who is in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you." - Matthew 6:16-18
When You See Me You See the Father
By Steven C. Habisohn, e5 Founder
The First words out of Jesus' mouth in the Gospels were to declare that God was his Father. In fact by the reaction of Mary and Joseph it might have been the first time in his life that he declared this fact.
When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.: And he said to them. "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father?s house?" But they did not understand what he said to them; (Luke 2: 48-50, NAB)
It would seem that this was the first break from his family on earth as he matured in his vocation as the Messiah. Ultimately the Son of God was to be known as the revelation of the Heavenly Father on earth. He states later in the Gospels,
"Whoever has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:9, NAB)
Should not all men, whether married or unmarried, be able to say, "When you see me you see the Father." Is not the vocation of every man to reflect the Heavenly Father in their very masculinity? While Christ was the unique image of the Father, his very masculinity points to the fact that every man, in his masculinity, images the Heavenly Father.
The uniqueness of the male vocation is summed up in this politically incorrect phrase by St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, "he (male) is the image and glory of God? (1 Cor 11:7, NAB) This "glory of God" is no less than the image of the Heavenly Father on earth of Whom every man (male) is to be the image.
God is neither male nor female but he did choose to reveal himself as "Father" and the way people are to learn what this "Fatherhood" of God means is through men here on earth. A woman can not be a father any more than a man can give birth and become a mother. This is a great responsibility for all men. The world, especially our children, will not know the Heavenly Father unless men start reflecting the true fatherhood of God in their masculinity. How many children grow up not being able to believe in God because they have had horrible men in their lives? The responsibility laid upon men in this regard is great.
Our responsibility as Christian men is to reflect the fatherly total self gift of God to humanity through our total self gift of ourselves to our brides. The e5 fast allows us to imitate Jesus' self gift of his body which reflects the total self gift of God the Father. Then we can say like Jesus, "When you see me you see the Father."