Fast fail: 39-year-old pastor died after trying to go 40 days without food and water.

A pastor in Mozambique has died after attempting to go 25 days without food or water in a bid to fast like Jesus in the Bible, per multiple media reports.

Francisco Barajah, the 39-year-old founder of the Santa Trindade Evangelical Church, died in a hospital in Mozambique’s capital, Beira, on Wednesday, The BBC reported.

He had been attempting to emulate Jesus’ 40-day fast from the Bible, per the outlet.

Full story

Editor’s note: Since Jesus is true God and true man and totally without sin, he wasn’t liable to die – after forty days – or forty years – of fasting. Jesus’ life was always his to keep, or to give.

Not so, for us.

With extended fasting, virtually any type of chronic health issue can lead to death.

I once fasted for three full days, subsisting only on water and twice-daily Holy Communion. Young and healthy at the time, I experienced no lasting ill effects from the relatively moderate fast. I also felt that I might have been able to go on fasting like that, indefinitely.

Maybe yes. Maybe no.

But, after three days, I had certainly gained a much more profound appreciation for Jesus, in the Holy Eucharist.

Also, my digestive system had “gone to sleep”, so it was necessary to reintroduce normal food, carefully and gradually, over the following days.

Don’t ask me how I learned that!

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