March 8, 2019

Isaiah 58: 1- 9

58:1Cry out! Cease not! Exalt your voice like a trumpet, and announce to my people their wicked acts, and to the house of Jacob their sins.
58:2For they also seek me, from day to day, and they are willing to know my ways, like a nation which has done justice and has not abandoned the judgment of their God. They petition me for judgments of justice. They are willing to draw near to God.
58:3“Why have we fasted, and you have not taken notice? Why have we humbled our souls, and you have not acknowledged it?” Behold, in the day of your fasting, your own will is found, and you petition for payment from all your debtors.
58:4Behold, you fast with strife and contention, and you strike with the fist impiously. Do not choose to fast as you have done even to this day. Then your outcry will be heard on high.
58:5Is this a fast such as I have chosen: for a man to afflict his soul for a day, to contort his head in a circle, and to spread sackcloth and ashes? Should you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the Lord?
58:6Is not this, instead, the kind of fast that I have chosen? Release the constraints of impiety; relieve the burdens that oppress; freely forgive those who are broken; and break apart every burden.
58:7Break your bread with the hungry, and lead the destitute and the homeless into your house. When you see someone naked, cover him, and do not despise your own flesh.
58:8Then your light will break forth like the morning, and your health will improve quickly, and your justice will go before your face, and the glory of the Lord will gather you up.
58:9Then you will call, and the Lord will heed; you will cry out, and he will say, “Here I am,” if you take away the chains from your midst, and cease to point your finger and to speak what is not beneficial.

Matthew 9: 14- 15

9:14Then the disciples of John drew near to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast frequently, but your disciples do not fast?”
9:15And Jesus said to them: “How can the sons of the groom mourn, while the groom is still with them? But the days will arrive when the groom will be taken away from them. And then they shall fast.