Friday, 16th February, 2024
Conversion of heart through fasting and prayer
  • Isaiah 58:1-9
  • Psalm 51:3-6,18-19
  • Matthew 9:14-15

Through the forty days of Lent, the Church unites herself to the mystery of Jesus in the desert (CCC 540). The Church has stipulated 2 days (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) as obligatory days for fasting and abstinence. Fasting tames the flesh. It is the denial of something we desire. Penance includes fasting, prayer and almsgiving. Isaiah teaches us about true fasting and how it becomes pleasing to the Lord. It is not the externals that matter, but a transformation from deep within. Let us fast not only from food, but also from words together with more prayer. Then we will be able to look at others with kindness and compassion, fulfilling the demands of the first reading. In the Gospel proclamation Jesus answers a question about fasting and he is speaking to us today. Like the disciples, we may be experiencing Jesus so close to us and communing with us. But it is easy to lose him as we journey. Then Jesus says fast and pray, so that we may find him again.

PRAYER: Abba Father, may we love and forgive those who have wronged us. Amen.

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