“Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.
Tell my people Israel[a] of their sins! Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf, pretending they want to be near me.
‘We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’
“I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers.
What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me.
You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads
like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord?
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless.