We had started by trying to See What Lent is, or, in other words, What Lent Means. Lent is that Special Time when We make Our Lives Better, by becoming More ‘Other-Centric,’ (Paraanta Sukhaaya). The Lord has been Very Particular about the Right Way of Observing Our Lent, – ‘Observing the Fasts,’ as it was more-known in those times.
We know people hold Competitions in Eating. Lent is Not seeing Who can Fast the Most, or Do the Hardest Penances. No Prizes nor Certificates issued here.
The people had asked: “Why should we Fast if the Lord Never notices? Why should we go without food if He pays No attention?” Isaiah 58:3. …Terrifying, is it not? That the Lord would Not even pay attention, even if one went on Fasts, and all? But there had been Reason behind that. The Lord had Clarified.
He had said:
“…At the Time you Fast, you pursue your own interests, and Oppress your Workers. you turn Violent, you Quarrel and you Fight…
Do you think This kind of Fasting will make Me Listen to your Prayers?
When you Fast, you make yourself suffer; you bow your heads low like a (broken) blade of Grass. you spread out Sackcloth and lie on it.”
(Broken, Bent Grass. Image Courtesy: daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com)
He had continued:
“Is That What you call Fasting? Do you think I will be Pleased with That?
The Kind of Fasting I want is this: Remove the Chains of Oppression and the Yoke of Injustice, and Let the Oppressed Go Free! Share your Food… Do Not Refuse to Help…”
…The Lord Re-Iterates these Same thoughts in the Same Chapter:
“If you put an End to Oppression, to Every Gesture of Contempt, and to Every evil word; If you Give Food to the Hungry and Satisfy those who are in Need, Then the Darkness around you will turn to the Brightness of Noon!”
All of the Above are taken from the 58th Chapter of Isaiah. Well worth Your read.
And I Cannot Add to That!
I would like to Condense it into These Words:
“Remove Oppression and Injustice.”
That would be the Right way of Observing Lent. A Life-long process, may be. But Asked for by the Lord. And a Meaningfully Observed Lent Would make Our Live Better.
[These be Some Goodly words to Judges, Officers and Officials, by the Way! HE is Observing. And HE can Afford to wait. We are going to land up at HIS door.]