Friday, February 23, 2007

Fasting that pleases God

Reflection on the 1st Reading of Friday after Ash Wednesday.
(Isaiah 58:1-9)

Today is the 3rd day since the beginning of Lent. Catholics have begun their Lenten observances with fasting, works of mercy and many other sacrifices. Being a Friday today, many people will be focusing on fasting. The 1st reading today from Isaiah spells out to us of the true fast that pleases God; 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...

This text is a reminder to us that all our sacrifices we make during this Lenten season is an opportunity once again for us to lead a life of holiness where we move towards God in a close relationship. The focuses is also on others. As we see the definition of the fast that God presents in the book of Isaiah, it should lead us to care and serve others,
Then will your light shine like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed ov
er. 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.' concludes the text from Isaiah.

Yesterday while on pastoral, one of the catechumans was sharing her struggle on fasting, she said that when she is hungry, she thinks of food and must eat. There was a suggestions for her and i think it is also useful for all of us. The suggestion given to her was, If you are hungry, pray to God and transfer the hunger for food to the hunger for the Word of God. We can also transfer the word hunger into other different words too, such as hunger for love and care for others.