Isaiah 58:1-9a ● Matthew 9:14-15
The kind of fasting you do
won’t get your prayers off the ground.
Do you call that fasting, a fast day that I, GOD , would like?
This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed, cancel debts.
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Isaiah 30:4b, 5b-8a
Fasting from food or abstaining from meat is positively easy compared to the kind of fasting God requires. God wants action that offers life to others, and to us.
What kind of fast can you enact—starting right now—that will break a chain of injustice? A fast from buying clothes made in sweatshops? A fast from pretending not to see the homeless beggars on the street corner? A fast from the technology (e.g. smart phones, iPads, YouTube, Facebook) that keep you from being available to your own family? A fast from underpaying those who work for you, whether in your business, in your home, or at a restaurant?
Reprinted with permission. For more information about this booklet and Bible translation, please see TheMessageCatholic.com.