February 16, 2018 Friday after Ash Wednesday-B

Isaiah 58:1-9

Psalm 51

Matthew 9:14-15

“This, rather, is the fasting that I wish…” Isaiah 58:8

Lord, it is clear in your word today from Isaiah what kind of Lenten practice gets your attention and pleases you.  It is not fulfilling an obligation to give something up.  While that is a good way to grow in discipline it does little to change our hearts.  You desire we become new people by working for justice for those around us.  You ask us to look around at our families, neighbors, coworkers and even strangers and free them from whatever way they are oppressed.  Lord, I may have a relative I have held hostage to a past injury and not forgiven.  There are people who are hungry, homeless and addicted all around me.  There are those who are victims of loneliness and isolation.  I can be less selfish with my time and be more open to someone who is helplessly lost or in pain.  Lord, you call me to greater responsibility for the suffering around me and accountability for all you have given me.  Help me to have a change of heart this Lent by being an agent of freedom to others.  Amen.