Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 11 April

Tayab Ali with his wife and daughter in Bangladesh

Tayab Ali with his wife and daughter in Bangladesh.

 Jesus was troubled in spirit. “My little children, I shall not be with you much longer.”

John 13: 21-33, 36-38

Saint John tells us that “Jesus was troubled in spirit” whilst he was at supper with his disciples. He knows Judas is about to betray him. And Jesus is about to leave all of his friends, whom he loves and cares for deeply. I can’t help but feel compassion for Jesus as he sits at the table.

In Jesus’ words, I hear the voice of a father, pouring out his love for his dear children.

Tayab Ali, 62, is a father of five who lives in Bangladesh. He lives in a small village near the Bay of Bengal. His home is vulnerable to flooding, cyclones, and the effects of climate change. The threat of this plays constantly on his mind.

The father works incredibly hard to provide for his family. He pulls a rickshaw in the sweltering heat, earning 300 Taka (£3) a day. He wakes at 5 in the morning and returns home at 11 at night.

“All my battles in my life are only for the better future of my children” he says. “I want to see them going to universities and doing a well-paid job. I don’t want them to pull a rickshaw.”

Tayab Ali’s story echoes God’s sacrifice for each one of us, his sons and daughters. How do we respond?  


God of all, you nurture, protect and guide us. All life springs from you. In your mercy, forgive us the times we deny you our thanks for all that you give us. Amen.  


Download the Our Father prayer collection to give thanks to God for guiding us through our Lenten journey. Look back at all you have achieved, remember the good deeds you’ve done and count up any savings or money you’ve raised from Lent sacrifices or challenges. And most importantly, remember that by doing this, you are helping people like Tayab who want to pull their families out of poverty.

You can send in your money online or if you have a cheque you can post it to us. Thank you.     

This reflection was written by Rachel McCarthy from CAFOD’s Theology Programme. 

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