February 16, 2018 – FRIDAY after Ash Wednesday
Is 58: 1 - 9a / Mt 9: 14 - 15
[Chinese New Year]
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 occasions, but not our disciples?
Jesus answered them, "How can you expect wedding guests to mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? Time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, then they will fast."
As we begin the season of Lent, the Church reminds us of three key works especially during Lent: prayer, almsgiving and fasting. (Mt 6: 7 -18)
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus had said about fasting, "When you fast do not put on a miserable face as do the hypocrites. They put on a gloomy face, so people can see they are fasting. I tell you this: they have been paid in full already..
"When you fast, wash your face and make yourself look cheerful, because you are not fasting for appearances or for people, but for your Father who sees beyond appearances. And your Father who sees what is kept secret will reward you." Mt 6: 16- 18)
In the first reading from the Prophet Isaiah we are reminded that the fast which is really pleasing to God is bringing justice to all and dong good for others.
In the Gospel reading the disciples of John ask Jesus why Jesus' disciples did not fast, different from the usual practice of the Jewish people.
A Facebook meme says, "Fasting without prayer is dieting." This meme reflects the reality that fasting is much more than denying oneself of food. When one fasts, he does so in order to be in closer union with God.
As we enter the season of Lent, let us ask ourselves about the meaning and relevance of fasting in our lives. In current Church law in the Philippines we have only two days of mandatory fasting: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Why do we even bother speaking of "fasting"?
We can ask ourselves what pleasures and practices we indulge in distract us from true relationship with God. What can we give up or do to make ourselves and our lives closer to God? Let us consider what practices we can do during Lent which would be "fast that pleases the Lord." (Is 58: 6)
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
Harold O. Mariste!a
Angela Genevieve Dy Tan
Joey & Cita Roxas
Mr. & Mrs. E. Castillo Jr. and Family
IN MEMORIAM (+)
Quinciana Guieb Fiel
Ang Siok Tuan Lim (06 Nov 1927- 16 Feb 2005)
For the good medical results for John Michael Cabrera Dy
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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