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4TH MARCH 2022


Is 58:1-9a, Ps 51, Mt 9:14-15

This, rather is the fasting that I wishIs 58:6

• On Ash Wednesday, we began a journey, we began a journey;

- of Lenten season

- of 40 Days

- of sincere repentance from within

- of real conversion of heart

• For this journey to be a fruitful one, three practices are important; Fasting, Good Works (alms giving) and Intensive prayers

• The readings of today invites us to pay attention to the first lenten practice; FASTING.

• What kind of fast does God want from us? God want the following kind of fast;

1. to be just; “remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go freeIs 58:6

2. to be generous to the poor; “Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poorIs 58:7a

3. to be generous to our own family members; “Give clothes to those who have nothing to wear and do not refuse to help your own relatives.” Is:58:7b

• Our fasting must be related to the life of the community; it has to be social.  We fast in order to;

1. Clarify our thinking and our feeling so as to pray deeply. When we don't eat, for even a little while, we get hungry. When we get hungry, we have a heightened sense of awareness. If, when we eat too much, we have a sluggish feeling, when we fast, we have a feeling of alertness. Fasting is a wonderful exercise whenever we want to sincerely ask for an important grace from God.

2. Learn to detach ourselves from earthly things and to appreciate the value of simplicity.

3. To atone for our sins. It is an act of penance.

4. To heal our bodies, minds, and spirits of bad habits. It takes 40 days for the body to reset itself biologically.

5. To train ourselves to have self-discipline.

6. Spare something for others.

• Is there reward for true fasting? The first reading enumerates the rewards for genuine fasting;

a. Then my favour will shine on you like the morning sun”, Is 58:8a

b. and your wounds will be quickly healedIs:58:8b

c. I will always be with you to save you, my presence will protect you on every sideIs 58:8c

d. When you pray, I will answer you. When you call I will respond to you.”Is:58:9a

• Whether it is fasting, abstaining or other acts of penance, the whole desire we should have is to use these means to help us grow closer to our Lord and prepare ourselves "to celebrate the paschal mystery with minds and hearts renewed." (First Preface of Lent)

• May our fasting this Lent, sharpen our hunger for Jesus.

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