Daily Reflection for Friday, February 28, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Isaiah 58: 1-9A
Responsorial: Psalm 51: 3-4, 5-6AB, 18-19
Gospel: Matthew 9: 14-15
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly…Setting free the oppressed…Sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; Clothing the naked….Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed…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!” Isaiah 58: 6-9A.
Isaiah 58 is one of my favorite chapters.
For most of my life, I thought of Lent as the bleak period during which we sacrifice and hope for Easter. And sorry to say this, but Lent was also the time when I promised sacrifice and often broke my promise. So, it was also a season of guilt.
But Lent is also a time when we look forward to the spring, to new life and more light.
Writing on Isaiah 58, Fr. Thomas Reese editorialized in National Catholic Reporter (February 11, 2020) that prophets are more social critics than they are fortune tellers who predict the future. Writing on behalf of the Lord, Isaiah is exhorting people and their leaders in that time to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, set free the oppressed, and clothe the naked.
These words ring true today. We know there are solutions to homelessness and hunger. For example, Finland is radically reducing homelessness * by providing homes and support.
The money to end starvation is readily available. We know that just 3% of U.S. military spending could end starvation on earth.
Sadly, sometimes my choices as an individual and our societal priorities don’t align with the message from Isaiah to share, shelter, set free and release the bonds.
But what if I follow the fasting that God wants? What if our church, our community, our nation, the world did? What if we listen to Isaiah?
Then our light will shine, our wounds will be healed, and the Lord will have our backs. And when we ask the Lord for help, God will say “Here I am”.
Lord, help me to find you and your light during this Lent and do fasting as Isaiah teaches.
Peace and blessings,
* You may need to hold the Ctrl key down while you click the links. Alternatively, here are the URLs: