March 3, 2017 – Friday after Ash Wednesday
St. Katherine Drexel, Virgin and Religious Founder
Is 58:1- 9a / Mt 9:14-15
Born in Philadelphia, PA, USA, St. Katherine Drexel (1858 - 1955) had a special care for Afro-Americans and Native Americans. She founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and colored people and opened mission schools for Native Americans and Afro-Americans.
FROM THE 1ST READING: Is 58: 6- 9a
See the fast that pleases me: breaking the fetters of injustice and unfastening the thongs of the yoke, setting the oppressed free and breaking every yoke. Fast by sharing your food with the hungry, bring to your house the homeless, clothe the man you see naked and do not turn away from your own kin.
Then will your light break forth as the dawn and your healing come in a flash. Your righteousness will be your vanguard. Then you will call and Yahweh will answer, you will cry and he will say, I am here.
GOSPEL READING: Mt 9:14- 15
Then the disciples of John came to Jesus with the question, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast on many ocasions, but not your disciples?"
Jesus answered them, "How can you expect wedding guests to mourn as long as the bridgegroom is with them? Time will come when the bridgefroom will be taken away from them, then they will fast."
Both readings today for the Friday after Ash Wednesday at the beginning of Lent speak of fasting. On Ash Wednesday the Gospel reading reminded us of three traditional practices for Lent: fasting, prayer and almsgiving.
In the first reading from the prophet Isaiah the Lord castigates the people of Israel for their wickedness and unfaithfulness to their covenant with God. They were a sinful people. Though they fasted, they remained unjust to others and quarreled with others.
The Lord reminds them of the fast acceptable before God: "breaking the fetters of injustice and unfastening the thongs of the yoke, setting the oppressed free and breaking every yoke. Fast by sharing your food with the hungry, bring to your house the homeless, clothe the man you see naked and do not turn away from your own kin." In the Lord's eyes, "fasting" was not only eating less but also doing good and even suffering for the sake of others.
In the Gospel reading Jesus explains to the disciples of John why his disciples do not fast as often as John's: "How can you expect wedding guests to mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? Time will come when the bridgefroom will be taken away from them, then they will fast."
Indeed, true disciples of Jesus, following the Twelve, all of whom except for the beloved disciple John gave their lives in witness to Christ and his Gospel, should be ready to fast and to give of themselves, even their lives, in their own witness to and service of the Lord.
Let us pray for the grace of strong faith in the Lord and perseverance in living out his faith.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
CHRISTOPHER KARL W. CUYEGKENG
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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