Breaking forth like the dawn


Lo, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits,
and drive all your laborers.
Yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting,
striking with wicked claw.
Would that today you might fast
so as to make your voice heard on high!
Is this the manner of fasting I wish,
of keeping a day of penance:
That a man bow his head like a reed
and lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Do you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?

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.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!

I have found my “battle-cry”, my weapon, to fight against selfishness, laziness, indifference, and sin. As I fast from selfishness, laziness, pride, and indifference, I am able to be the one who will set free the oppressed, clothe the naked, share my bread with the hungry, and to truly love others. Fasting is a means to come back, to come back to the one who I am supposed to be – someone who keeps her eyes on the merciful love of the Father through the sacrifice of His Beloved Son – being healed and vindicated, letting my light break forth the dawn.

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