Fat Tuesday (or Mardi Gras) is the day before Lent. And, in some places, along with festival activities, it is a celebratory occasion for many people to indulge or over-indulge their appetites with their favorite dishes and drinks before they presumably begin the stringent exercise of fasting during the Lenten period.
Lent is a time in the Christian Calendar when we are urged to look at our appetite and ask ourselves, “What do we really like? What do my taste buds salivate for?” Appetite is not just a matter of food and drink. It is a desire or craving for anything that satisfies our flesh. The problem is that our appetite often controls us, rather than us controlling our appetite.
Our appetite often interferes with our relationship with God. We have trouble putting God first in our lives because in too many instances we are controlled by our appetite.
Fasting during this Lenten period is intended to wean us from the power our appetite has over us and to help us to develop an appetite for God.
We will never experience any soul satisfaction by indulging our fleshly appetite. “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)
The more we cultivate an appetite for God; the more we fellowship with Him; the more we allow Him to satisfy our desires, urges and cravings, the less of everything else we need or want.
Fasting is not about giving up anything! It’s about learning to control our appetite and to learn to yearn and crave God! We need to develop an appetite for God! The Psalmist declared, “O taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8)
Jesus said, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.” (St. Matthew 5:6)