“… free those who are wrongly imprisoned and to stop oppressing those who work for you. Treat them fairly and give them what they earn. I want you to share your food with the hungry and to welcome poor wanderers into your homes. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.“Stop oppressing the helpless and stop making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be bright as day. The Lord will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy, too.”
That’s from Isaiah 58. But read before those verses and you get this:
Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Tell my people of their sins! Yet they act so holy! They come to the church [Temple] every day and seem delighted to hear my commands. You would almost think that was a righteous nation that would never abandon its God. They love to make a show of coming to me and asking me to take action on their behalf. “We have fasted before you!” they say. “Why aren’t you impressed? We have done much penance, and you don’t even notice it!”
“I will tell you why! It’s because you are living for yourselves even while you are fasting. You keep right on 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 a blade of grass in the wind. You dress in sackcloth and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord?