A humbled contrite heart, O God, you will not spurn.Today’s readings call us to true religion and a genuine conversion of heart.
Psalm 50:3-6, 18-19. R. v. 19
If we have a “humbled, contrite heart,” then we can commit to change our whole selves through prayer and fasting.
In today’s reading from Isaiah (58:1-9), the faults revealed to the people are not a lack of piety as they are earnestly seeking after God, but their fasting is only scratching the surface of their lives. They are seeking right relationship with God without considering other people and so workers are oppressed and there are disputes.
In our world today the practice of religion is often regarded as part of our private lives, something to be kept to ourselves, which should not affect our dealings with others.
However, our fasting and our religious observances should permeate our whole lives. This will mean addressing how the way we live affects all people.
Do we observe the Lenten fast and then do business in the same way as the rest of society?
Rather we should do what we can to address injustice in the world. For example, we can choose to promote fair trade, a living wage for all, women’s empowerment or campaign against human trafficking.
We can help people to transform their lives by supporting CAFOD, food banks and welcoming refugees.
If we do what we can, then the light of Jesus Christ will shine through us to the world.