Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Announce to my people their rebellion, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God.
“Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day to humble oneself? Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush, and to lie in sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?
Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, 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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
On the corner at Grand and Lindell
Still, in the street-side chapel
I gaze at Crucified Christ hanging
From a plain and quite drab tiled ceiling
As morning sun filters over His face
Casting upon Him shadows – our human race
Of students, those bound, and homeless passers-by
Of oppressed, those hungry, those wondering why
Of the convict just off the passing, noisy bus
Perhaps she’s lost in the bustling rush
Of trucks, of cars, and of abrupt horns
we all are torn
but here right now with it all
As the College Church bell eight times
We see and taste
To start anew, with Grace
Today our fasting
Is in acting
Grant, gentle Father,
that your Spirit may give us the will and the courage
to act to make a difference,
in order to make real your kingdom among us,
so that we may we all live together
in peace, truth, justice and love,
sharing the resources of the earth. Amen.
—Making a Difference prayer, published by The Jesuit Institute