Scripture Struck @ Isaiah 58:1-9
Essence of Fasting
One of the disciplines of Lent is fasting. This practice goes back to the people of Israel. Moses required fasting only on the Day of Atonement. When they were in Exile from their homeland, they fasted also out of grief.
Following the destruction of Jerusalem, every Israelite fasted in the 5th and 7th month annually for 70 years. They mourned for their loss; they lost their homeland and their temple.
But as years dragged on, their fasting became empty. They became more concerned of the ritual observance of the law neglecting ethical demands like sharing bread to the hungry, rescuing the oppressed or defending orphans.
Today fasting can also be empty if done for mere health reasons. The essence of fasting is to seek a deeper relationship with God. Its aim is personal conversion and soul cleansing. It can create a new awareness that more than food, our need for God is greater!