(Tuesday, November 14)

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ And Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’” (Jn 1:44-46)

Today on the “New” Calendar is the day of the Apostle Philip. It is also the eve of Nativity Fast, which begins tomorrow and is also called “Philip Fast,” because we prepare for its beginning on his day.

If we’re looking for some motivation for the upcoming fasting period, we might look at it as a way to help us “Come and see,” as Philip said to Nathaniel, “Him of Whom Moses…and also the prophets, wrote”; to “come and see” Him born in a cave in Bethlehem. Christmas is the celebration of a great Mystery, being revealed in our world, in the flesh. And the point of the fasting period is to help us prepare to “see” it, by gradually becoming more attentive and awake to the great fact of God being “with us,” in our midst.

How can a fasting period make us more awake to God? Its discipline brings a bit more order into our lives, helping us to become a bit more *aligned* with our Creator, Who from the beginning brings order out of chaos and light out of darkness. It disrupts our usual routine and changes our focus, both in the mundane things like our food choices, and in our choices of words and actions towards God and others in our lives.

Even if we don’t follow all the fasting rules exactly, let us let ourselves participate in this period of preparation in some way, both physically and prayerfully, paying a bit more attention than usual to our physical and spiritual health. “Let us stand upright! Let us be attentive” to God, ourselves and others, this fasting season, that we might welcome Him, once again, into our midst!