Friday 16 FEbruary

by | Feb 15, 2024 | Evangelium

Saint Daniel


Daniel and his four companions (Elias, Isaias, Jeremy and Samuel) were Egyptians who visited Christians condemned working in the mines of Cilicia during Maximus persecution, to comfort them. Apprehended, they were all tortured and then beheaded.

Entrance Antiphon : Ps 29: 11

The Lord heard and had mercy on me; the Lord became my helper.


Show gracious favour, O Lord, we pray, to the works of penance we have begun, that we may have strength to accomplish with sincerity, the bodily observances we undertake. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

First reading : Isaiah 58:1-9

Thus says the Lord: Shout for all you are worth, raise your voice like a trumpet. Proclaim their faults to my people, their sins to the House of Jacob. They seek me day after day, they long to know my ways, like a nation that wants to act with integrity and not ignore the law of its God. They ask me for laws that are just, they long for God to draw near: ‘Why should we fast if you never see it, why do penance if you never notice?’ Look, you do business on your fast-days, you oppress all your workmen; look, you quarrel and squabble when you fast and strike the poor man with your fist. Fasting like yours today will never make your voice heard on high. Is that the sort of fast that pleases me, a truly penitential day for men? Hanging your head like a reed, lying down on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call fasting, a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me  – it is the Lord who speaks – to break unjust fetters and undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke, to share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor, to clothe the man you see to be naked and not turn from your own kin? Then will your light shine like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed over. Your integrity will go before you and the glory of the Lord behind you. Cry, and the Lord will answer; call, and he will say, ‘I am here.’

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 50:3-6,18-19

R/ A humbled, contrite heart, O God, you will not spurn.

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness. In your compassion blot out my offence. O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.

My offences truly I know them; my sin is always before me Against you, you alone, have I sinned; what is evil in your sight I have done.

For in sacrifice you take no delight, burnt offering from me you would refuse, my sacrifice, a contrite spirit. A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

Gospel Acclamation : cf.Ps129:5,7

Glory and praise to you, O Christ! My soul is waiting for the Lord, I count on his word, because with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption. Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Gospel : Matthew 9:14-15

John’s disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of mourning as long as the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then they will fast.’

Prayer over the Offerings

We offer, O Lord, the sacrifice of our Lenten observance, praying that it may make our intentions acceptable to you and add to our powers of self-restraint. Through Christ our Lord.

Communion Antiphon : Ps 24: 4

O Lord, make me know your ways,  teach me your paths.

Prayer after Communion

We pray, almighty God, that, through partaking of this mystery, we may be cleansed of all our misdeeds, and so be suited for the remedies of your compassion. Through Christ our Lord.


Jesus talks to us about fasting and its necessity. Fasting is an excellent spiritual discipline leading us to a deeper relationship with God. When we are in a deep relationship with God, we will know what to fast from. We are to fast from sin because it creeps so easily into our lives and clings tenaciously onto us. Sin destroys our relationship with God. Fasting is a spiritual means to restore that relationship. Fasting is also a form of prayer. Hence, may our fasting cleanse and empty us of our selfish desires and draw us closer to God. Remember, God has better common sense than man. We often look at things microscopically and fail to understand the bigger picture or their rationale. Sometimes we comply with a technical attitude rather than a discerning spirit behind the word of God. So the goal of fasting is neither to make us suffer nor to observe the rules faithfully, but to convert, to repent and turn away from the worldliness of our being and enter into a spirit of love and communion with God. During this Lent, we look forward to being with the Lord in prayer, fasting and almsgiving, in works of charity.