Reading and meditation on the Word of God, Friday after the Ash Wednesday, February 24, 2023
FASTING THROUGH CHARITY AND PRAYER
Our meditation today has the theme: Fasting through Charity and Prayer. The three standard of piety we have meditated yesterday, each of which does not stand alone. To pray is not an action that has nothing to do with to fast and to do charity. Likewise, fasting and charity. One righteous deed requires the others two in order to make a person righteous and blessed before the Lord and becoming an example for his neighbors.
Today's meditation wants to bring our attention to the fasting that we do through the acts of charity and prayer. In every act of love one carries out his fasting. Likewise when there is an opportunity to pray, someone fills and strengthens his fasting. Both our readings today illuminate our faith about fasting through charity and prayer.
The book of the prophet Isaiah confirms that the act of fasting which is very effective in living together and in accordance with God's will, is to open the chains of burdens and punishments. All oppressed and fettered forms of life must be removed. Actions or behaviors that deceive and cause trouble to others must be stopped. Hungry and thirsty people are given their satisfaction. Those who don't have a house are given a place of refuge. Those who don't have clothes are given what they really deserve.
Everything the prophet said had become concrete in Jesus Christ, who carried out the mission of God the Father, and who was accompanied by the apostles. Besides the apostles, there were many disciples who followed and accompanied Him wherever He went and at every opportunity of His public ministry. To live with the Lord Jesus is to look at Him, talk to Him, hear Him, touch Him, acknowledge Him, believe in Him, and give oneself to stay with Him until death. These are all opportunities at all times living together in God, that suit all the criteria for the prayer of a follower of Jesus.
Therefore Jesus enlightens us that, fasting is our active participation in God's presence. His presence animates our entire lives. If God has offered Himself to be with us, then why do humans look for ways to fast? All acts of fasting are actually for us who are experiencing the Lord's presence. He is in our midst and we have to enjoy our fellowship with Him. So by being and with God, we carry out the mission of the Lord, that is to love in His name. We share this love with those around us without limit because He always strengthens us through His words and blessings.
Let's pray. In the name of the Father ... Almighty and ever living God, fill our hearts with Your power that we may continue to share Your love with courage and without hesitation, especially in this moment full of graces. Hail Mary ... In the name of the Father ...