The Church, if she be authentic in her Christian witness, must grapple with the challenges of society starting from its most marginalized sector. If the Church does not teach with a loud voice that the Great Lenten Fast is about more than refraining from certain foods, she will be failing in her duty to preach the fullness of Christ’s Gospel. The Church’s ministry must include service to the poor and downtrodden, for her role does not stop with her liturgical services, but begins there. Saint John Chrysostom teaches that fasting without accompanying good deeds is like a ship going from port to port without cargo.
The newly canonized Saint Sophrony of Essex, wrote, “A man is not saved by having once shown mercy to someone, although, if he scorns someone but once, he merits eternal fire. For ‘hungered’ and ‘thirsty’ is said not of one occasion, not of one day, but of the whole life. In the same way ‘ye gave me meat’, ‘ye gave me drink’, ‘ye clothed me’, and so on, does not indicate one incident, but a constant attitude to everyone…
— Abbot Tryphon
(a brief clip)