Dear Friends, I pray your Lenten journey ‘back to God’ has begun well. Let us pray for one another that this may be a fruitful Lenten exercise for all of God’s people.

Today’s readings make clear that our practices of penance are meant to lead us to true conversion. In essence, our penance is to ‘open’ us to the reality that we are totally dependent upon God for everything. As we are renewed in our relationship with God we are then better able to see ourselves and the world around us through the eyes of God – with the heart of God.

The Prophet Isaiah chides the people that their practice of penance make no difference in the day-to-day practice. May this not be said of us this Lent!

The basic principles of morality come to mind with this passage of Isaiah, namely that our penance is to give us the capacity to see, judge, and act according to the heart of God. In the words of Isaiah, this is the fasting that is pleasing to God:

This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
    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.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
    and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
    and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.

I invite you to listen to the readings and homily from today’s Mass.

Peace and Prayers,