40 Shades of Lent
Friday after Ash Wednesday, 08 March 2019
Isaiah 58:1-9///Matthew 9:14-15
God our loving Father, in this 40-day journey of Lent in and with your Son Jesus Christ, help us to imbibe anew the value of “fasting”. How unfortunate that in this age when we have made everything so fast and quick, we have forgotten or totally disregarded the other meaning of that word “fasting” that seemed to have been stuck with the past.
We have ceased to fast not only during Ash Wednesday and Good Friday but even before receiving the Holy Communion in the Sunday Mass, making all kinds of excuses with bold claims of having sacrificed so much in doing good deeds that we need not fast from food anymore.
And if ever we fast these days, we repeat the very same mistakes of the people in the Old Testament of having themselves as the focus of their fasting rather than you, O God, through others.
“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!”Isaiah 58:3-4
In this age of superabundance of almost everything in the world like food, clothes, money, gadgets and other things except YOU, teach us to let go of some comforts and pleasures to be one with those in suffering.
Most of all, let us fast to be empty of our very selves so we can create a space for you and for others. Fill us with your Self to become your very presence here on earth:
“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!”
What a joy it would be if more people experience you, O Father, through us. Amen.