20 February 2021

Reading and meditation on the Word of God on Saturday after Ash Wednesday, February 20, 2021

If you bestow your bread on the hungry, then light shall rise for you in the darkness. Reading and meditation on the Word of God on Saturday after Ash Wednesday, February 19, 2021. Reading is delivered by Hermanus Malo Dona and meditation delivered by Bernadeth Lembayung Hapsari (from Saint Peter’s School in Jakarta, Indonesia). Isaiah 58: 9b-14; Rs psalm 86: 1-2.3-4.5-6; Luke 5: 27-32.


The theme for our meditation today is: Fasting Brings Renewal. Our reflection yesterday brought our attention to the fasting in Lent that is done through the acts of charity and prayer. These are our ways to fast. Then to broaden this reflection, we shall be guided by this important question: what is actually the outcome we expect from fasting? Our meditation today tells us that one of the most important fruits of fasting is the renewal of life.

The prophet Isaiah said that a person who stops hurting and harming his or her fellowmen, then change to do good and kindness to them, a renewal of life really occurs and he or she is pleased by the Lord. The Lord God will always guide him or her. God will grant his or her happiness and salvation in this life. This renewal indeed supports his or her growth in spiritual life where an intimate relationship with God is well created. A believer of this type will always make this life meaningful by doing all the works of the Lord.

What has just described by the prophet Isaiah is expressed more clearly in the life of people who had experienced firsthand the life and work with Jesus Christ. The story of the apostles, disciples and many others who came in contact with Jesus then renewed their lives can tell us much about this. We in the Church today also have the similar experience although in different contexts. Our current situation encourages us to fill this Lenten season with the strengthening of our relationship with God and with our brothers and sisters. The Covid-19 pandemic and all its consequences that affect our lives will only be handled successfully by our spirit of togetherness and out faithfulness to God’s intervention on our lives.

A serious and an effective renewal of life is obtained through a reall act of repentance. People who repent are those who leave their old lifestyles in the darkness of sin and choose a new life in the grace of God. Through fasting, which is the experience of meeting and living with the Lord, the power of God truly changes one’s life that has been in contrary with the Lord’s way. This experience was actually happened in the life of certain man named Levi, the tax collector who met Jesus and then invited Jesus to eat at his house. This tax collector later became one of the 12 apostles of Jesus, known as Matthew.

If we want our fasting in this Lent to give signs of repentance in each one of us, in our families and in our  communities, let us make something useful as we begin the first week of Lent by tomorrow. We are required to plan it well both in our personal and in common ways what practices that represent our concrete fast. The plan really aims for our conversion or renewal of life.

Let’s pray. In the name of the Father … Almighty God, enlighten our personal and common journey of faith in this Lent, so that we may always walk in the spirit of repentance. Glory to the Father and to the Son … In the name of the Father …

Recent Reflections