Friday after Ash Wednesday

Friday, March 8, 2019

Epistle

Isa 58:1-9

Cry out full-throated and unsparingly. lift up your voice like a trumpet blast. Tell my people their wickedness. and the house of Jacob their sins. They seek me day after day. and desire to know my ways. Like a nation that has done what is just and not abandoned the law of their God. They ask me to declare what is due them. pleased to gain access to God. "Why do we fast. and you do not see it? afflict ourselves. and you take no note of it?" Lo. on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits. and drive all your laborers. Yes. your fast ends in quarreling and fighting. striking with wicked claw. Would that today you might fast so as to make your voice heard on high! Is this the manner of fasting I wish. of keeping a day of penance. That a man bow his head like a reed. and lie in sackcloth and ashes? Do you call this a fast. a day acceptable to the LORD? This. rather. is the fasting that I wish. releasing those bound unjustly. untying the thongs of the yoke. Setting free the oppressed. breaking every yoke. Sharing your bread with the hungry. sheltering the oppressed and the homeless. Clothing the naked when you see them. and not turning your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn. and your wound shall quickly be healed. Your vindication shall go before you. and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call. and the LORD will answer. you shall cry for help. and he will say. Here I am! If you remove from your midst oppression. false accusation and malicious speech.

Gospel

Mt 5:43-48,6:1-4

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. "(But) take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.