On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 4, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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We fast to empty ourselves and we soon realise that we did not need so much food and drink to begin with? We fast because we are penitent, truly sorry and contrite and seek the Lord our God’s mercy. We fast to empty ourselves of the world so that  He our Lord can fill us with His the graces He desires us to have.  We fast so that we can draw ever closer to our bridegroom, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

So then can we fast but continue to live with our habitual sins? To be unkind to neighbour? To ignore the pleas of the hungry and poor? To continue wagging our unfettered tongues? To perform acts of injustice? To lash out with impatience? To continue with unforgiveness in our hearts?

Forgive me Father God in Heaven for all that I have done and all that I have failed to do. Grant me the grace, courage and fortitude to remain steadfast and obedient unto You. Your Will be done now and always. 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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