On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 28, 2020 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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What is the purpose of fasting and following the Lenten observances if we do not will our hearts to change, to pray to our Lord fervently to help change them so as to unite ourselves more fully to Him? Can we then continue with unbridled tongues? With allowing our tempers to flare? With a lukewarm faith? With indifference? With feigned ignorance of the poor and the poor in spirit? Can we continue to give in to temptation and sin?

Emptying and surrendering ourselves to Him so that He can fill the voids in our lives with His graces and His very self through the act of fasting is only the first step. There is still prayer and almsgiving which of course includes performing corporal and spiritual acts of mercy. Yes mighty challenging indeed! But think of the prize, the bridegroom Himself! The best part is that He is with us every step of the way in our journey guiding and enriching us with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Oh Lord allow me to always listen to Your voice and my heart will never be hardened. 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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