Monday, February 8: “True Fasting”


Isaiah 58: 5:Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed, and for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord?” With Ash Wednesday and its accompanying season of Lent just ten days away, it isn’t too early to broach this subject. The Israelites back then had turned fasting into a ritualistic outward discipline which never addressed the heart of the one fasting or the state of those around them. Fasting is meant to humble the heart of the faster, while lifting the lot of the least, the lost, and the lonely. As St. Paul says in today’s epistle reading (Galatians 6: 14), Lent is a time to boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is all about dying to self and living for others.

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