A reflection on the Gospel reading for June 18 (Mt 6:1-6;16-18) by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.
The Gospel reading we have from Matthew today has a hint of Lent in it. St. Benedict too, reminds us that fasting is important when he gives us as a tool of good works: "to love fasting". (RB 4:12)
Fasting doesn't always have to involve food, but food is important. We fast from food to gain control of the body. It teaches us that we don't have to immediately answer the body every time it clamors. This helps us to discern better the clamor of the body versus the cry of the spirit so that we can have control over our bodies.
It's good to give up little things every day-- the extra spoon of jam on your bread, the sugar in your coffee-- and thus give the spirit a chance to take hold and lead. It is tough, but by doing it we will receive the blessing of God.