Friday after Ash Wednesday

Theme: A call to renewal

In the 1st reading of today, the prophet Isaiah in a very special way invites us to newness of life that will bring about authentic conversion as we journey towards Calvary; during this season of Lent. The outcry of the prophet Isaiah is something we can easily relate with without much difficulty, because it is a common practice today in our society. As we strive to get closer to God during this season of Lent, we must make effort to level the mountains in our life and also fill the valleys, if we truly want to enjoy newness and holiness of life.

As we build on prayer, fasting and almsgiving during this season of Lent, the prophet gives us a broader understanding of fasting. He points out the fact that fasting does not end with staying away or skipping meals, there is more to it. This is because as we fast, we are encouraged to practice positive actions that will help to promote and enthrone the presence of God here on earth. It is also important that as we fast, we must endeavour to stay away from oppressive actions and also any unjust practices that do not truly represent who you are as a child of God. The practice of charity during this period of fasting is highly appreciated and we should imbibe it, as we do our fasting. My brothers and sisters in Christ, it is expected that our Lenten observances is an opportunity for authentic conversion that emanates from the inside and will stand the test of time.

The assertion of the prophet Isaiah in today’s 1st reading will help us to appreciate the response of Jesus in today’s gospel (He said, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, they will fast). Given the same scenario that Jesus found himself, many of us would have answered to impress those around us. But Jesus did not do that, he was real and sincere in his response to the people. This is an invitation for you and I as children of God to be real and sincere in our dealings with people. That way we will not be dancing to the drum of the crowd but to that of God almighty. My brothers and sisters in Christ, let us embrace the admonition of the prophet Isaiah in today’s 1st reading and the need for authenticity of life presented to us by Jesus in the gospel. May the Lord bless his words in our heart. Peace be with you.

Homily for Friday after Ash Wednesday, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp