February 19, 2021
Friday after Ash Wednesday
Not So Fast!
Do you call this a fast…?
Isaiah 58:5

God’s stinging rebuke of Israel’s false piety redefines the very notion of fasting. “On your fast day, you carry out your own pursuits” (verse 3). Penance itself is repellent: “Is this the manner of fasting” I would choose? (verse 5). Afflicting oneself, bowing your head, sackcloth and ashes? No! For our God, fasting means a feast of freedom for the oppressed, “releasing those bound unjustly” (verse 6). Maybe that is why the liturgy calls Lent “this joyful season.” A big parish fish-fry may seem hardly penitential, but the festivity of it all—welcoming neighbors near and far, any faith, any style, any smile—must be dear to the heart of God, who promised Israel, once they released every unjust or oppressive yoke: “Then your light shall break forth like the dawn” (verse 8).

- Miguel Dulick

Isaiah 58:1-9a • Psalm 51:3-6, 18-19 Matthew 9:14-15

Comments

February 19, 2021 at 02:15 PM

Praying for my home state, Texas, that God's people be the hands and feet of Jesus looking out for the ones in need as God provides, protects and preserves! Amen!

Salina
February 19, 2021 at 04:45 PM

What is bigger than the hats in Texas? The Texans hearts!!!

Pam
February 19, 2021 at 02:59 PM

Salina! Your home State of Texas is living up to be big and strong! We are seeing communities coming together to provide, water, rides, food, warm clothing and any thing that is asked for! We live in the Hill Country between Austin and San Antonio, and we were without power and water since Sunday afternoon. We have had power for one full day now, but still no water. We are on a hill along with 6 others and have been isolated because of ice on the road. But we all stayed in touch, offering what we might have that someone else didn't. The sun is out and brilliantly shining...and melting the snow and ice. Now we find out the extent of damage as pipes begin to thaw. But rest assure, God's love is strong and obvious throughout the entire Heart of Texas! God Bless Us ALL, and ALL Who We Love!

February 19, 2021 at 12:12 PM

Amen. Thank you Holy Father for this beautiful day and for this Gospel today. Thank you Lord for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father, most of all, for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please Lord have mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen Father, in the name of Jesus, we ask that you release your warrior angels and heavenly hosts. We decry and declare that they would take us off the enemies' radar and scramble the enemies' frequencies (air waves). Your Kingdom must come now. Your will must be done right now as in the heavens also on earth. Amen

Tim
February 20, 2021 at 10:37 AM

Pam, you are truly a survivor and disciple of Christ. Know that your Living Faith Family is praying for you daily. Please keep safe and you and your family are in our prayers, Amen.

February 19, 2021 at 11:24 AM

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for these verses prompted by the Holy Spirit for my family as I pray for each of us in 2021 :-) ***Matt - Romans 15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit!" ***Salina - 1 John 1:9, "If I confess my sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive me my sins and purify me from all unrighteousness!" ***Katie - Zephaniah 3:17, "The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior Who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.!" ***Jessi - 1 Corinthians 10:31, 33b, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.......For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved!"

February 19, 2021 at 11:05 AM

Love the title of this devotion, Miguel :-) "Not So Fast!" I love the book of Isaiah, the Gospel of the Old Testament! ***So what does fasting look like? Isaiah 58:6-7, "this is the kind of fasting I (God) want: *1) Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; *2) lighten the burden of those who work for you. *3) Let the oppressed go free, and *4) remove the chains that bind people. *5) Share your food with the hungry, and * 6) give shelter to the homeless. * 7) Give clothes to those who need them, and *8) do not hide from relatives who need your help." ***What do I see from this list above? *1) It is all focus on others *2) It is not about what I should fast or give up *3) It truly is JOY: Jesus, Others and You! ***What are the results of this kind of fasting? Isaiah 58:8-9a, " *1) Then your Salvation will come like the dawn, and *2) your wounds will quickly heal. *3) Your godliness will lead you forward, and *4) the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. *5) Then when you call, *6) the Lord will answer. *7)‘Yes, I AM here,’ He will quickly reply." ***Joy by for King and Country https://youtu.be/E-r7ogDaaEQ Amen!

February 19, 2021 at 09:40 AM

Lord, let me be a witness of your love, always. Amen.

February 19, 2021 at 09:30 AM

Take this reading from Isaiah literally!

February 19, 2021 at 08:58 AM

This morning God sends us a clear message through the Prophet Isaiah, he says, take note here is the manner I would like for you to fast. Set free the oppressed, offer your yoke to help others, share bread with the hungry, share shelter with the homeless, clothe the naked. Your service fast will not go unnoticed, do not bring attention towards yourself when you are fasting. When you call your God shall call to you, "Here I am". Today let us call to our Lord, Here I am Lord. Dear Jesus help me to notice others in need and reach out to them this Lent to help bring some light to others who may only see darkness. Prayers for all of our Living Faith Family, the ones who do not have anyone to pray for them, our own personal intentions and the souls in Purgatory, that they be reunited with Christ in Heaven. We Pray, Amen.

February 19, 2021 at 08:26 AM

Amen.

Sham Peter Narine Respond to comment
February 19, 2021 at 07:47 AM

Thanks Miguel for today's devotion. Voluntary fasting. Fasting is the key to deepening the spirit of prayer and charity. This is because when we fast from the things of this world, we begin to seek what is spiritual. Fasting is the engine for true charity because when we fast, we begin to identify with the hunger and privation of our brothers and sisters. We no longer give alms just to soothe our conscience or to observe the precepts of the gospel. Rather, we will not just give alms but we use our hands and feet and all the resources we have to reach out to the poor, the marginalized and the suffering because we can feel with them in their pain, sickness, loneliness, hunger and homelessness. Prayer for all the living faith family members. Have a blessed day everyone.

Patrick
February 19, 2021 at 02:30 PM

As soon as I read the devotion I was reminded of a picture I received on WhatsApp with the title " do you want to fast this lent, Pope Francis" which expressed similar sentiments. It's easy to find online.

Kjc
February 19, 2021 at 08:28 AM

Sham/Peter/Narine Well said I love your comments and totally agree. At the end of the day reflect on your sacrifices and remember that Jesus sacrifice on the cross for our freedom. He allowed us to be able to make the choice living or death. I will pray for the living faith family at Mass this morning. I am so lucky that I can attend. Please pray for the souls in purgatory and the essential workers and their families. Ken I am not a robot

February 19, 2021 at 07:27 AM

Praise to the One who creates us to say, "Here I am." Fasting, praying having compassion, bringing a smile to everyone. Serving Jesus the best way we are led to. May we all unite to share in prayer, release the captives, feed the hungry, bring water to those suffering without homes, water, freezing in their homes, struggling to keep warm. "Here Am I, O God am I ready to serve?"

February 19, 2021 at 07:01 AM

Miguel, your devotional was a whole new revelation for me! Lent IS truly a joyful season when we, as a united church gather together for a feast of freedom!

Kjc
February 19, 2021 at 08:34 AM

Yesterday I mentioned Psalm 51:10 I try to say it every day. Create in me a clean heart, God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Bless you all Ken

STAY CONNECTED

Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.

Latest Tweets

Most popular devotions

Receive a free reflection for Sundays every week via email

About Living Faith Living Faith Foundation Privacy Policy Questions & Answers Contact Us

© 2021 Creative Communications for the Parish, a division of Bayard, lnc. All Rights Reserved.