The Kind of Fast that Pleases God (Isaiah 58)

A reflection by Sr Clare, fcJ, from February 2021 FCJ Sisters Blog

At the beginning of Lent each year I wait with longing for this particular chapter from the Book of Isaiah to appear in the daily Mass readings and to challenge us to look again at the way we are living and the choices we make. I relished those words as I listened to them last week and they have stayed with me ever since causing me to reflect on them more and more deeply.

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, 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 them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Isaiah 48:6-7 (NRSV)

Somehow this year, against the background of all that is happening in our world, I find them more relevant than ever. I find myself called to fast and pray because I long for healing for all those suffering from Covid19 and severe illness. I long for freedom for all those who at this very moment are suffering political oppression or any other form of enslavement. I long for justice for all those denied their basic human rights.

I know I am called to act too. I am called to advocate for those who are silenced, to make choices grounded in justice and to live more gently and peacefully in this world. I take to heart the invitation to turn to God, to believe in the Gospel and to live it.