By Sr. Margaret Hoffman, SND
“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,
sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless,
not turning your back on your own.
THEN SHALL YOUR LIGHT BREAK FORTH LIKE THE DAY.”
– Isaiah 58:1-9
Lent invites us to broaden our horizons and to experience the “loosening of bonds” that confine ourselves; then we can invite others to that same blessed release. It is a special time to deepen our consciousness of the presence of God’s life in us and to nurture this awareness in others. Setting aside, in the measure we are able, let us make time for stillness, for prayer and the nurturing of hope.
The traditional practices of Lenten prayer, fasting and almsgiving enrich us, preparing our hearts to embrace the world, opening our eyes to the world’s great need for Good News. Then we will be prepared to share with others–our family, our friends and co-workers, and needy people here and elsewhere the caring of Jesus. Then we will be able walk in the ways of justice-releasing bonds, untying thongs, sharing our bread, offering shelter–so that the light of Jesus’ resurrection will shine for others. Truly Good News! How beautiful!