True fasting

+ “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:[…]when you see the naked, to clothe them […]? + (Is 58)

When was the last time someone clothed your nakedness?

There are many forms and appearances of nakedness: physical, psychological, social nakedness and myriads of variance in between.

We all know the taste of exposure of our nakedness. That feeling and reality of inevitable vulnerability before those who witness our nakedness, or those to whom we have to entrust our nakedness. We all long for cover and compassion, a loving approach in such moments…

Lord, help us to recognize those around us whose nakedness, whatever it may be, physical, physiological, mental, or spiritual, You will reveal it to us. You place them into our hands. Help us to be sensitive to them. To those who are more naked at the moment than we are, urge us to open our hearts to them … teach us how to extend compassion that would honor them and cover them, rather than shame or mock them. Empower us in such moments to fast from boasting about our clothes or goodness in the eyes of more vulnerable ones.

Reveal to us the loving ways in which we can cloth the naked ones by sharing our own possessions: our physical clothes or spiritual ones, and our own strength, safety, social recognition, and success so that we can really minister and provide for them, offering good cover to those who have a higher need.

Grant us the ability to not be afraid to taste a bit of their nakedness by sharing our gifts, which we once received from You, even if this means to become a bit naked again ourselves…

Thank You, Jesus, for Your nakedness, which You lifted upon the Cross, and by which You embraced and covered with love every possible nakedness of this world.

No more nakedness has to scare us ever again. Because of the Cross, there is no such nakedness that could separate us from Your love. In Your nakedness, every human nakedness can find safety and holy cover. Our shame is crucified and its power on us is broken. Therefore, the apostle Paul declares: + Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?[… ] No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. + Rom 8

Lord, help us not to cover ourselves with fig leaves of shame, by the false covers of this world, but rather by the holiness of Your cross, in which our nakedness is united with Yours and redeemed, purified and honoured. Only through Your love do we become strong and truly minister to the nakedness of others…

Jesus, we thank You for everyone who has answered this calling and in a holy way has ministered to us in our nakedness!

May our hearts learn from them and may we become good helpers for everyone around us as well.

Bless us with the grace to offer others the rules and reality of Your kingdom … the true fasting.

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