Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red
Eymard stained glass window

Daily Eucharistic Reflections

February 16, 2024

Friday after Ash Wednesday

This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own.

The above scenario answers the people’s outcry in Isaiah 58:3: “Why have we fasted,” they say, “and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?” Isaiah is reminding us here that what God desires from his people must go beyond simply external practices and doing no evil. To cease oppressing others is not enough. To be a people of justice and righteousness means actively engaging in social and economic reform.

We, and Israel are called to be agents of liberation, generosity, and compassion for the poor and oppressed. Fasting is an attempt to align our priorities with the will of God. Isaiah calls for a fast from indifference and privilege so the faith community might live in harmony with God.

We can see why this passage was chosen for the beginning of Lent. If we celebrate Christ’s birth at Christmas, now we focus on the entire meaning of his life. We try to understand the ramifications of the kingdom for which Jesus lived and died. Isaiah tells us that if we strive to observe God’s will, “then our light shall break forth like the dawn.” Based upon these passages, what is this light about to dawn? Christ himself will then be reflected in us to our world. Is this not what we celebrate and pray for at each Eucharist?

Let Us Pray:

O loving Jesus, help me realize that following you requires me not simply to avoid doing what is wrong, but to do what is right to build a more just and compassionate world.


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We are a Catholic religious congregation of priests, deacons and brothers whose mission is to share the riches of God’s love manifested in the Eucharist.

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