What, Lent again? - Friday after Ash Wednesday

 

 Friday after Ash Wednesday

 (Isaiah 58: 1-9; Matthew 9: 14-15)

 

‘This 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 andnot
turning your back on your own’.

 Now this is the crux of the matter - the matter of dying into life. Dying into life is for the brave, the courageous, for those who have been touched by divine love. This Word of God to Isaiah reaches into the depths of who we truly are - image of God. We lose touch with this truth when we turn all our attention on what the world offers. This is an invitation to live out of our deepest self, that self where true love, joy, peace and justice abounds.

 God asks not for the fat of rams, the sacrifice of an unblemished calf. God asks us to be the person imaged from all time ....................................  'to be a light breaking forth like the dawn, that our wounds be quickly healed'. In examining our conscience we become mindful of the kind of influence we expend on the world. Before the light of Christ we will know that giving up sugar, alcohol, smoking, etc. - though good in themselves, is not enough. In God's love we will both see and receive the strength to do what is wholesome: fast from individualism which frees us to speak with charity, relate with justice, listen with understanding and empathy and enable myself and my neighbour to grow in mercy and trust.

 

Breath Prayer:

 I breathe in:     'I am mercy'

 I breathe out: 'Mercy - touch a person or event with this gift'

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