On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 16, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

What is the purpose of our Lenten observances if it does not change us to become more loving, merciful, and Holy? If we do not empty ourselves of pride, greed, envy, our tempers and disordered sexual desires? How then can we expect to be filled with our Lord’s grace when we are still full of ourselves, our whims and fancies. When our observances are shallow.

Our fast, sacrifices, almsgiving adds nothing to the Lord our God’s glory. We do them to become more like Jesus, to become closer to Him. To love and live as He did. For He was showing us the way to true joy with life in Him.

Tending to those who cannot care for themselves or have the means to do so. To share what we can with them and to bring the message of His love and hope to all. This is what is pleasing to the Lord.

Jesus, help me become more like You. Amen

First reading

Isaiah 58:1-9
The sort of fast that pleases me

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
When the bridegroom is taken from them, then they will fast

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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