Today’s First Reading (Isaiah 58:1-9) calls for true repentance. It talks about the uselessness of repentance while maintaining social injustice and oppression.
This is harsh. I believe our Heavenly Father will accept all our efforts to do penance.
Nevertheless, I agree with the First Reading for today that if I contribute to social injustice and oppression through commission or omission, my penance is perhaps ultimately meaningless.
My penance must go beyond the personal to the external, beyond the family and kin, to the stranger.
Yesterday we reflected on the decline of volunteerism in Australia over the past decade.
Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.
[Volunteering Australia Project: The Review of the Definition of Volunteering]
There are also Carers. Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, and alcohol or other drug issues or who are frail aged.
There is an increasing number of people in Australia who need care. They could be family members, kin or strangers. They all need our care.
Volunteers and carers are people who give selflessly. Carers give to family, kin and friends, and volunteers give to strangers.
Both are equally important.
Today’s First Reading lists activities we can volunteer and care for:
- Stop oppressing my fellow workers.
- Break unjust fetters.
- Undo the thongs of the yoke.
- Break every yoke.
- Share my bread with the hungry.
- Shelter the homeless and poor.
- Cloth the man I see naked.
- Not turn from my kin.
What can I volunteer or care for today?
Image source: Created by DALL.E