02 March 2009

Lenten Objective

What do you hope to accomplish during Lent? How will you do it? I heard this passage from Isaiah on Fat Tuesday while at evening prayer. Then it was the first reading last Friday. I found myself meditating on it and decided to share it with you.

"Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD?

"Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

"Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, Here I am." ~Isaiah 58:5-9

What is the purpose of fasting? Well, one is to humble ourselves. Some others include to loose the bonds of wickedness, undo heavy burdens, to let the captive go free, and to break every yoke.

What do we do? Usually bowing down your head and wearing sackcloth and ashes is a good start. But what pleases God? Through the Prophet Isaiah the Lord tells us what pleases Him more than punishing ourselves: share your bread with the hungry, bring the homeless poor into your house, clothe the naked.

Sure the sackcloth and ashes part results in humility, but what happens when we do it God's way? Our light breaks forth, healing springs up, righteousness proceeds us, and the glory of the Lord protects us. And best of all, when we cry out to the Lord He answers.

So I ask again: what do you want from Lent and how will you get it?

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