Archive for March 8, 2019

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 8, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys

Prayer, fasting and alms giving. The three pillars of Lent. Fasting and alms giving the two wings of prayer. These have been communicated strongly and beautifully by our Catholic Church and for very good reason. It strengthens and deepens our relationship with God our Father as He is present to us when our hearts cry out to Him through these spiritual exercises.

When we do so, we empty and purge ourselves of all that is not of Him. We create space for the indwelling of our almighty and living God. We are more fully connected to Him thereby allowing us to greater fasting from anger, unforgiveness, pride, sexual temptations, ingratitude, self centredness and more. Jesus who becomes more fully the centre of our lives is thereby glorified through our words and deeds.

Lord Jesus as I fast this day for You, take away all that is not of You. Fill me Lord with your presence and Your love. 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.’