Friday after Ash Wednesday – 16 February 2018
Isaiah 58:1-9, Psalms 51:3-6, 18-19, Matthew 9:14-15
Isaiah 58:3-4 – Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with wicked fist.
Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high…
Matthew 9:14-15 – 14 – Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast but your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
Create in me a clean heart, O God and put a new spirit within me.
Genuine faith does not make a believer pretentious.
Dialogue with God is not a business bargain.
External observance of religion wins little favour with God, if it is combined with unfairness to the weak and indifference to the poor.
Openness to the indigent is the door to true religion.
The world itself changes for the better with the widening of human concern for the poor. Good works multiply on the face of the earth and everyones sees the glory of God in action.
The Gospel presents Jesus, as refusing to absolutise ritual fasting.
What He expects from His disciples is that they remain faithful to the mission He is about to give them even at great sacrifice.
It will make evidently greater demands from them than mere ritual fasting.
They should be prepared.
Jesus is introducing a new set of values of immense worth, for which the old order of things must make way.
(Archbishop Thomas Menamparanpil SDB – GodsWord)
Each of us has different talents, material resources and opportunities. Lent is an invitation, not to introspection and penance for its own sake but always to help us to better partner with God in responding to the needs of our world.
Is there a need I feel called to do something about?
Could I ask God to show me where He is inviting me to act?
What one thing might I do today to reach out to someone in need?
(excerpt Fr Nicholas King S.J. ‘The Long Journey to the Resurrection’)
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace,
where there is hatred, let me sow love,
where there is injury, pardon,
where there is doubt, faith,
where there is despair, hope,
where there is darkness, light
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.