6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Yesterday, this passage from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah caught my attention. It gave me enlightenment on seeing fasting in another perspective. It means to say, when we practice seriously there’s something that it emphasize especially on our concern towards our neighbors. Fasting does not only emphasize discipline and self-control, rather it also emphasizes charity and our capacity to reach out. If there’s no reaching out and charity in our practice of fasting, for sure, it will always fall into “showing off” and dieting. Our Lenten journey especially fasting is not only all about mere rituals and asceticism for the sake of self-glorification. Rather, it is all about asceticism and mere rituals for the sake of proclaiming the year acceptable to the Lord through bringing glad tidings to the needy and marginalized. Indeed, Fasting is a reminder for all of us that we cannot reach out ourselves and our hearts unless we sacrifice something. So, in fasting, love is not all about “this is mine”, but it is all about “I am willing to sacrifice my comfort zone and give it as a gift for my needy brothers and sisters”.