Divine Mercy Minutes with Jesus is a pocket... Read more
By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Feb 27, 2009)
Readings: Is 58:1-9; Mt 9:14-15
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish ... sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless. Is 58:6-7
How easy it is to limit our personal approach to Lent by focusing on food! The conscious decision to deny ourselves a favorite treat is certainly praiseworthy. Especially in this day and age!
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, one can drive through many a town or city and find at least one place offering a variety of delicious foods. Fast food has revolutionized the way we eat. Who would have ever thought that on cable television one channel would be completely dedicated to food? Yet, to limit our Lenten observance to just food would be like attending a five-course meal and stopping after we eat the salad. There's so much more!
In today's first reading, God is asking for something far greater than a passed up mouth-watering dessert — He is asking us to seek opportunities to practice the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. That takes focus! God commands us to do this by "sharing [our] bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked" (Is 58:7).
What are some practical ways we can actively live out our merciful Father's call to be like Him? Is there a lonely person in our neighborhood who could use a smile and a listening ear? A homeless shelter that needs a volunteer or food donation? Or perhaps a struggling young family who might need some clothes for the children?
Just as there is nearly always food to be found in the towns and cities near us, so, too, there are always people waiting for someone like you and me to lend a merciful hand. Let's take some prayerful time today and ask the Lord to direct our hearts to whomever He wants us to love and serve.
Lord Jesus, help me to be more like You. I want to live a life devoted to caring for the needs of others. Please lead me to those whom You would like me to serve. Amen.