On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 12, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Many do not take fasting seriously. Even those who can fast will have some excuse not to. Why torture yourself? Does God really want that of us? There are many other far better ways and things to abstain from? While it is true for those few who cannot fast but in their heart they really want to, theirs is a righteous ‘fast’. For their choices are truly to draw closer to God.

The depths of observing a fast is far reaching. When we do so with the mind and heart for God. For the promptings of the Holy Spirit is amplified. When we deny the flesh, we deny evil an entry point however small. Our prayers, songs of praise and exaltations like incense billows up to God our Father.

Jesus my Lord I long for You. Let my Lenten observance be grace filled so as to draw ever closer to You. Amen

First reading
Isaiah 58:1-9

Thus says the Lord:
Shout for all you are worth, raise your voice like a trumpet.

Proclaim their faults to my people, their sins to the House of Jacob.

They seek me day after day,
they long to know my ways,
like a nation that wants to act with integrity and not ignore the law of its God.

They ask me for laws that are just, they long for God to draw near:

‘Why should we fast if you never see it, why do penance if you never notice?’

Look, you do business on your fast-days, you oppress all your workmen; look, you quarrel and squabble when you fast
and strike the poor man with your fist.

Fasting like yours today will never make your voice heard on high.

Is that the sort of fast that pleases me, a truly penitential day for men?

Hanging your head like a reed,
lying down on sackcloth and ashes?

Is that what you call fasting,
a day acceptable to the Lord?

Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me – it is the Lord who speaks – to break unjust fetters and undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke, to share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor, to clothe the man you see to be naked and not turn from your own kin?

Then will your light shine like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed over.

Your integrity will go before you and the glory of the Lord behind you.

Cry, and the Lord will answer;
call, and he will say, ‘I am here.’

Gospel
Matthew 9:14-15

John’s disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of mourning as long as the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then they will fast.’

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