Friday 16 February 2024

About Today Readings

Day of penance

Isaiah 58:1–9. A broken, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn – Psalm 50(51):3–6, 18–19. Matthew 9:14–15.

Take up the fast that pleases God

In today’s world, I’m forever being bombarded with advertisements for fasting to achieving a healthy body. Fasting is seen as looking after one’s body. Intermittent fasting, alternate day fasting – any type of fasting is seen as looking after one’s body. However, Christian fasting is a choice to abstain from the things that we like in order to become closer to God. With only three days into Lent, we are reminded strongly of this time of fasting, sacrifice and prayer. But to what measure? These practices are not empty traditions, they are there to change us, to help us to follow our Lord. To rejoice with our God and become aware of those who are less fortunate than us. As the first reading says, ‘This is the sort of fast that pleases me’.

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