HOMILY OF FRIDAY 19TH FEBRUARY, 2021
FRIDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY
R1:- Isaiah 58:1-9
Accl:- Amos 5:14
Gosp:- Matthew 9:14-15
*THEME: WHY FAST?*
” _Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?” Matthew 9:15._
The above statement was Jesus response when John’s disciples accused his disciples of not fasting. The question is, why do we fast?
We fast for self-discipline. Fast makes us lighter and open us up in the spirit. It helps us to Peirce our way into the presence of God. Above all, we fast to humble ourselves before God in penitence.
However, while Jesus, the God made man, was with his disciples flesh and blood, why do they need to fast? Being with Jesus is no time for mourning. In his presence, there is joy. There is joy in God’s presence. Our fast helps us draw closer to his presence where there is fullness of joy and redemption.
Moreover, we do not fast for the community but we can fast as a community. Even if we choose to fast on behalf of a community, our individual fast for the community will still require a corporate cooperation from each of the members. Each member has personal role to play in the pool of the sacrifice required for God’s full manifestation. More so, fast, when declared by a believing community, must be done with a view to draw closer to God and not just a seasonal or traditional observance with no special merit. Seeking the face of God as a worshiping community, we are sorry for the time we have erred, we seek God’s direction and reenact our allegiance to him.
Therefore, any fast that adds nothing to our spiritual life is merely starvation or self-enslavement, we are both the slave and the slave master. Any fast that does not change our status quo is a sham. Hence, our fast must help us to lead a good life. ” _Is not the fast that I choose : to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?”_ Isaiah 58:5-6
May God help us to get the benefits of our Lenten observances. Amen.