Welcome to day 3 of our Journey through Lent! I’m hoping you’re enjoying your time with the Lord through these guided readings and prayers. In case you’re curious as to what material was used in the creation of this study, here are some of the sources I found to be the most helpful:
HOLY BIBLE: New International Version
Devotions for Lent, from the Mosaic Holy Bible
Fasting, by Jentezen Franklin
Praying Lent, by Andy Alexander & Maureen McCann Waldron
Creighton University’s Online Ministries
Isaiah 58:1-9a -True Fasting
1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins. 2 For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. 3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. 4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. 5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? 6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
Psalm 51: 3-6
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. 6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place
Matthew 9: 14-15 -Jesus Questioned About Fasting
14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
Lord, please use our fasting to lead us to
act justly and caringly to those who are most in need.
May whatever we have chosen to “give up” represent our efforts to do without the things in our lives that get in the way of true happiness and wholeness.
Help us to break unhealthy attachments to material things or bad habits
so we are free to fulfill the purpose of our lives – loving God and our neighbor.
Let us pray to Christ our Savior, who redeemed us by His death and resurrection:
Lord, have mercy on us.
You went up to Jerusalem to suffer and so enter into your glory,
– may the way we live our lives bring you
You were lifted high on the cross and pierced by the soldier’s lance,
– heal our wounds.
You made the cross the tree of life,
– give its fruit to those reborn through your death and resurrection.
crossyou forgave the repentant thief,
I know how much you love me.
It’s hard for me to feel it sometimes,
but I know your love is always with me.
Help me to rely on your love and strengthAmen.
to persevere in my desire to observe Lent through fasting, prayer and charity.
I am weak, but I know with your help,
I can use these small sacrifices in my life to draw closer to you.