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 every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin? (Is 58:6-7)
During Lent, we most frequently focus on fasting of a bodily kind. This fascinating passage asks an interesting question: what is the point of fasting? Rather than a spirituality modelled on our society, i.e. individualistic, this passage implies that fasting should draw us into community, that we might see others’ needs, have compassion and help them.
Young people can assert that religious language and rituals have little to do with ‘real’ life. Relationships are very important to young people. Religious practice that cares for those in need strikes many young people as relevant and resonates with them developmentally.
Have a great week!