How to Fast: God’s Way

Isaiah 58 changed my life and understanding of what God wants from His people. It begins with God telling Isaiah to tell His people to “Cry our full-throated and unsparingly…tell them their wickedness and the House of Jacob their sins.” He is not mincing words here. They listen, they cry out and ask Him, “Why do we fast and you do not see it? Afflict ourselves and you take no note of it?”

God responds saying “On your fast day, you carry out your own pursuits, and drive all your laborers, yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting,”

(We don’t know anything about that do we? Starving at the end of a long day of fasting, I have been involved in many a Friday night showdown.)

“Is this the manner of fasting that I wish, of keeping a day of penance: that a man how his head like a reed, and lie in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast acceptable to the Lord?”

I was a little confused and weirded out by this because it sounded to me like He was talking about how we fast.

The Lord goes on to say “Would that today you might fast so as to make your voice heard on high,” and that is where the quote in the picture at the beginning comes in.

“This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly…
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.”

I read this right as the Black Lives Matter protests began. Catholics in my immediate circle rolled their eyes, and denied the evils of racism, fighting for their sense of security and pointing fingers at the survivors of injustice. Then, something amazing happened, I started seeing voices join together of social justice warriors of every religion, fighting to make their voice heard for those who have tired voices. It is a beautiful thing seeing warriors rise up ready to demand justice and Love for those who have suffered so much.

What if every time we heard about a people who was suffering we rose up and instead of fasting from meat for a day, we crusaded for the rights of those less fortunate than ourselves? What if every single Friday all Catholics, which is over a million people, found someone who felt alone, and stayed with them? Or went to a peaceful protest against something? Or spoke out in favor of someone who is hurting? Or took a day to examine themselves to see where their own prejudices may be hurting others?

Maybe then we could change the world. ♥️

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