Friday 28 February 2020
Day of Penance
Isaiah 58:1-9. Psalm 50(51): 3-6, 18-19. Matthew 9:14-15.
A broken, humbled heart, O God, you will not spurn – Psalm 50(51): 3-6, 18-19.
‘The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from then, and then they will fast.’
Fasting, for the Pharisees and followers of John, was part of keeping the Law. It showed you were on the right track because you followed the rules. Jesus was pointing to a higher law: a way of living out of love and compassion, of revealing the mercy of God.
Jesus knew it was far more important for his followers that they soak up the experience of his presence among them, absorb the way his love and compassion transformed people, hear the truth of his words, see the way he welcomed outcasts and stood up for them, and notice his ministry of table fellowship with the unlikely.
Lord Jesus, as I reflect on your life and message, I notice your way of being with people. Fan into flame my desire to imitate your pattern of loving service. Whether I am fasting or feasting, grant me the consolation of your company.