The first Reading from the book of Is 58: 1-9a is self explanatory. we dont have to re-read again but it communicates a strong message. These days of penance and fasting I feel this reading could become our companion and guide for 40 days. all those who really want to make best of this lent then they must read this text and reflect every day. A message direct and clear, addressed to all generations and everyone in included. Read it:
Cry out aloud for all you are worth; raise your voice like a trumpet blast; tell my people of their offenses, Jacob's family of their sins. Is it true that they seek me day after day, longing to know my ways, as a people that does what is right and has not forsaken the word of its God? They want to know the just laws and not to drift away from their God. "Why are we fasting," they complain, "and you do not even see it? We are doing penance and you never notice it." Look, on your fast days you push your trade and you oppress your laborers. Yes, you fast but end up quarreling, striking each other with wicked blows. Fasting as you do will not make your voice heard on high. Is that the kind of fast that pleases me, just a day to humble oneself? Is fasting merely bowing down one's head, and making use of sackcloth and ashes? Would you call that fasting, a day acceptable to Yahweh? See the fast that pleases me: breaking the fetters of injustice and unfastening the thongs of the yoke,setting the oppressed free and breaking every yoke. Fast by sharing your food with the hungry, bring to your house the homeless, clothe the one you see naked and do not turn away from your own kin. Then will your light will break forth as the dawn and your healing come in a flash. Your righteousness will be your vanguard, the Glory of Yahweh your rearguard. Then you will call and Yahweh will answer, you will cry and he will say, I am here.