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Fasting and works of righteousness

Wednes­day. Cry aloud, says the Lord to the Ho­ly Proph­et Isa­iah; spare not, convicting the trans­gres­sions of My peo­ple. What did the peo­ple do? They seek me dai­ly, and de­light to know my ways.[1] But is there re­al­ly a sin in this? In­deed, they ought to do this. Yes, they ought to, but the fact is that they do this not as they ought. They hope to be suc­cess­ful in their seek­ing through fast­ing alone, not caring for works of righ­teous­ness and love. “Fast­ing is pleas­ing to Me,” says the Lord, “but on­ly such fast­ing where­by peo­ple, in hum­bling their bod­y, for­give of­fenc­es, for­give debts, feed the hun­gry, bring the out­cast out to their house, clothe the na­ked. When all of this is done to­geth­er with fast­ing, then you will suc­ceed in seek­ing Me and ap­proach­ing Me; then shall thy light break forth as the morn­ing… the glo­ry of the Lord shall be thy re­ward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall an­swer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am… And the Lord shall guide thee con­tin­u­al­ly (Isa. 58:1–11).
[1] The Sla­von­ic for the sec­ond quote reads: they seek Me, take de­light in ap­proach­ing God.

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