Friday, March 3, 2017

Many have quarreled about religion that never practiced it.

When you say that you agree with a thing in principle you mean that you have not the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice. ~Otto von Bismarck: (1815 –1898: was a Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860s until 1890.)

Scripture Text: (IS 58:1-9A)
Thus says the Lord GOD:
Cry out full-throated and unsparingly,
lift up your voice like a trumpet blast;
Tell my people their wickedness,
and the house of Jacob their sins.
They seek me day after day,
and desire to know my ways,
Like a nation that has done what is just
and not abandoned the law of their God;
They ask me to declare what is due them,
pleased to gain access to God.
"Why do we fast, and you do not see it?
afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?"

Lo, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits,
and drive all your laborers.
Yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting,
striking with wicked claw.
Would that today you might fast
so as to make your voice heard on high!
Is this the manner of fasting I wish,
of keeping a day of penance:
That a man bow his head like a reed
and lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Do you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!

Today’s first reading from Mass tells us that God doesn’t want fruitless fasts or empty works – God wants the real thing from us. He wants us to love like he does. Seems like Fasting of the Mind is right up God’s ally. And like any good parent, he offers us proper direction and the tools to do so. In Isaiah 58: 1-9 God gives us a laundry list of the fasting he desires – release those bound unjustly, untie the thongs of yoke, share our food with the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the oppressed and homeless, and never turn your back on your own. O.k. – got it! Let’s do that, then we will win favor with God, our wounds will be healed (quickly God adds) and we will shine like the sun because our light will “break forth like the dawn”.  

Got it God – here we go to do as you have said! Thanks for the direction!

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