Archive for February 24, 2023

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: February 24, 2023 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

Have you dwelled on the act of fasting itself?

Those of whom who can fast, that is those who are medically fit should fast during this Lenten period. You will find that you do not actually need as much food as you thought. Perhaps you had given in to gluttony even in its mildest form. Fasting from food and drink is also a prophetic act of sorts, that is to say we empty ourselves so that the Lord our God can fill us with His grace. Coupled with pray, we invite Him to unite with us more fully and His presence fills us to the brim!

Fasting from food and drink alone is only the foundation on which we build up our spiritual ‘muscles’. We must also fast from anger, loose tongues, unkind words, entertaining impure thoughts, greed, jealousy and anything that is not from our Lord.

For what follows, is that we must strive to perform acts of corporal and spiritual acts of mercy; throughout our Lenten journey. So that all who look upon us will see that our bridegroom, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ walks with us. Amen

Corporal Acts of Mercy

To feed the hungry;

To give drink to the thirsty;

To clothe the naked;

To harbour the harbourless;

To visit the sick;

To ransom the captive;

To bury the dead.

Spiritual Acts of Mercy

To instruct the ignorant;

To counsel the doubtful;

To admonish sinners;

To bear wrongs patiently;

To forgive offences willingly;

To comfort the afflicted;

To pray for the living and the dead.


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.’



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.’