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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



Saint Dismus - The Thief That Stole Heaven

by Steven C. Habisohn, e5 Founder


"Jesus, remember me when you enter upon your reign". (Luke 23:42,NAB)

Have you ever wondered what Jesus must have been feeling when he heard these words from the good thief? There were no other consoling words recorded that were spoken to Jesus during His crucifixion.

The good thief, traditionally known as Saint Dismus, knew and believed in Christ's Kingdom and that death had no hold on Jesus. I suspect Dismus truly understood this because he was on the cross and not simply a spectator. I suspect that his suffering forced him to make a complete act of the will in deciding who Jesus really was. What a gift to Dismus, but also a great gift to Jesus Himself.

Jesus must have been consoled on the cross with the words of faith spoken by a man suffering a similar fate. Jesus rewarded this new friendship born of suffering with eternal life. Jesus says to his ironic comforter, "I assure you: this day you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43,NAB)

Although there is so much more to the story of Dismus and Jesus, let us today simply focus on their unique friendship born of suffering. Our fasts, joined to Christ and His passion, make us more than simply spectators as well. So in the spirit of Saint Dismus (warmly known as the thief that stole heaven) let us suffer patiently and proclaim in our prayers, "Lord remember me, your friend, a repentant sinner, and remember those I suffer my fast for this month. "