"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I."
Reflection. People often think of giving things up for Lent - today is Ash Wednesday. People think of this as the season of fasting. Well, it is the season for fasting. Yet, Isaiah transforms our understanding. Isaiah brings the word of the Lord and we are called to 'fast' by acting with kindness and goodness. Rather than to stop eating chocolate and biscuits, we are to serve others.
We are called to act justly, lift up the oppressed, release those in baondage, share our food, give shelter to the homeless and to clothe the naked. This is the fasting that the Lord Almighty calls us to do and to be.
The Lenten pilgrimage towards Easter has begun.
Prayer. Lord God, help me to hear your call. In Jesus's name. Amen.