Friday after Ash Wednesday
We often bury ourselves in responsibilities and forget why we started following the rules in the first place. We get lost in teasing a friend within a group for the sake of a joke instead of looking at it from his or her perspective. We try so hard to impress those above us that we lose sight of the dear friends always around us, supporting us. We follow a diet until it controls our every thought. We study until we’re too tired to remember the important information. We make excuses instead of making time for a much-needed lunch date with an old friend. On this day, let us remember that although sacrifices can help us put what is important in perspective, they can also overtake us. We must balance self-sacrifice for the greater good with living life fully, remembering that God created all things. Fasting is not to afflict oneself but to enliven our inner spirit and awareness. In the reading from Isaiah, he emboldens us to practice our Works of Mercy by “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.”
Lent is not the only time to be thoughtful towards others and share good deeds with one another. What we learn from our Lenten reflections we carry with us in our hearts each day. This is a time of contemplation, a time to remember our Works of Mercy and prepare ourselves for a new season of life and celebration.
Lord, help us to know the difference between doing what is right in our hearts and making others happy. Guide us in the direction of our faith; may we bring forth our sacrifices to You with respect to our neighbors.
Katherine Hackett, ‘11, Office of Admission
First Reading: Isaiah 58:1-9a
Psalm 51:3-6a, 18-9
Gospel: Matthew 9:14-15
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website