Archive for February 19, 2021

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 19, 2021 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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I fast during this period of Lent not because I want to lose much needed weight. Not because I want to impress anyone of my sheer will and determination by doing so for my faith. Nor do I do it for my Lord who gains nothing from my fast!

I fast because I am truly sorry for all my sins especially for falling back too often into habitual sins. While I am indeed very sorry for all that I have done, I am more sorry for all that I have failed to do. For failing to see and help the hungry, the oppressed, the sick, and those in most need of mercy and love. I fast to renounce and empty myself of all that is not of my Lord, so that He may fill me with His grace and allow me to love as He loves. To be merciful as He is merciful. I am waiting eagerly for my bridegroom this Lent to return and dwell in my home for all eternity.

I therefore fast not just from food, drink or both but from anger, impatience, empty pride, from all that takes my attention and focus away from my Lord. So that I may hunger and thirst for souls who are in need of His mercy and love. I therefore fast not just for myself but for my family, ministry, community and Church. So that together our hearts will be transformed, filled with such compassion and love; that we may carry out corporal and spiritual acts of mercy in His Holy name. 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.’