A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Meditation Moment: Fast Slowly, Ash Wednesday February 10, 2016 Yr C

For Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016, Readings: Joel 2:1-2,12-17, or Isaiah 58:1-12, Ps 103: 8-14, 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10, Matthew 6:1-6,16-21

Look, you serve your own interest 
    on your fast day, 
 and oppress all your workers.
Look, you fast only to quarrel and to
 and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
will not make your voice heard on high.

Is not this the fast that I choose:
  to loose the bonds of injustice,
  to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
  and to break any yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the 
 and bring the homeless poor into
   your house...[Isaiah 58:3b-7]

Lent has arrived! So what!? 

       The palms from last Palm Sunday have been burned and for those who choose to receive, the imposition of ashes on foreheads is an outward and visible sign of our mortality - from dust we come and to dust we will return. Giving up chocolate or smoking or alcohol or desserts for the 40 days is great but, as we hear in films and TV, "What's your motivation?" The 40 days of Lent mirrors the time Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness deflecting the temptations of the devil and preparing for his ministry. Also the 40 years of Israelite wanderings being prepared for the reward of God in the Promised Land. Lent is time set aside for us to prepare for all that is to come in the life of Jesus, and, for what is to come in our own lives. It is a perfect time to re-examine our priorities, re-discover our faith and our humanity. 
       Fasting isn't merely about relinquishing favorite foods, but releasing ourselves from routinized unconscious behaviors, indifference to others, and stockpiling stuff for our earthly existence. Lent is the time to develop a new spiritual routine, spending a little time each day in prayer and meditation, learning more about what our faith truly means to us and finding new ways to express it without embarrassment. 
       Lent is the time to give up old habits, take on more vigorous spiritual activity and finding Christ-centered resources to help you with everyday life. And, it is time to  pray, pray, pray.  Many will not observe this time but for those who will: What will be the fast that you choose? Something symbolic or something significant? What will you give up and take on? 
       Life is short. Lent is shorter but can completely transform your life. Make your fast count in your own life and in the lives of others. Fast slowly and intentionally and consciously. When the Resurrection comes, it will be a new dawn for all of us!


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