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! Isaiah 58:8-9a
How easy it is for me to focus on myself! A Lenten fast means that I am to give up something and that somehow will bring me closer to the Divine and thus closer to the Reign of the Divine Become Human. The ancient wisdom of Isaiah calls us to a deeper understanding. Our lives are to be lives that work against the oppression of the weak by the strong, both intentional and unintended oppression.
During the cold winter months, providing shelter and sustenance to the homeless is particularly relevant. However good it might be for me to give up something and thus try to break the grip of our cultural and economic addiction to self gratification, that is of little meaning or significance unless it leads to action to liberate those ground down by that very culture and economy, what St. Paul would call "the world."
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Location:Main St,Mount Morris,United States