Friday after Ash Wednesday
February 24, 2023
Daily Reading from the USCCB: Isaiah 58:1-9a
This portion of the Book of Isaiah seems to date from the time of the return of the Israelites from the Babylonian exile. The people were striving to reestablish the religious life of their country, and the prophets were teaching them how.
This passage teaches about doing penance–about what repentance includes and what it does not. Repentance includes more than seeking direction from God and asking to know his ways. It certainly excludes working to outdo your neighbor in business or squeezing the most out of your employees. It’s not just a matter of engaging in penitential practice.
What is pleasing to God is looking after our neighbor in need. That’s what will elicit the Lord’s attention. That’s what real repentance is all about.