Giving in a time of Sacrifice
Friday after Ash Wednesday
In this early stage of Lent, many of us will have resolved to “give up” something during this time of preparation for Easter. However, Lent is not just a time for “giving up”, but it is also a time for simply “giving”.
The prophet Isaiah reminds us that it is not just about “giving up”—fasting and lying-in sackcloth and ashes (you can still buy sackcloth online)—but it is also about “giving” of our time, our attention, our service, our finances, our belongings.
Isaiah calls us to break unjust fetters, let the oppressed go free, share bread with the hungry, shelter the homeless, and clothe the naked and not turn from your kin.
We can be very enthusiastic about these heroic calls to provide charity, but the last call to “not turn from your kin” may be less exciting yet more heroic.
It challenges us to consider our relationships with those closest to us; our spouses, children, parents, siblings; our close friends; our housemates.
The Lord invites us this Lent to ask ourselves whether we are sensitive to the needs of those closest to us, and then to respond by giving of our time, our attention, our service, our finances and our belongings to them.
1st Reading: Isaiah 58:1-9
Gospel: Matthew 9:14-15