As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him. Matt 9:9
Today’s Gospel reminds us that anyone who wishes to follow Christ must truly follow Him in all ways. Following Jesus, denying ourselves, taking up our crosses: these are not easy things to do. And without God’s grace, they are impossible.
Jesus and His disciples fasted. Jesus said, “when you fast,” and not “if you fast.” There are examples in Scripture that illustrate certain demons can only be expelled with prayer and fasting.