Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 17 March - St. Patrick's day

Flore with her carnations in Peru

Flor grows and sells flowers in Peru

The kingdom of God will be given to a people who will produce its fruit.

Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

In today’s parable Jesus refers to his rejection by those who choose not to hear his message, and think they can secure their own dominion by doing away with him. He asks us to examine the values by which we choose to live our life. 

The imagery he uses of a vineyard producing grapes, and tenants who consider themselves owners rather than stewards, can also help us to understand our relationship with creation.

Meet Flor - a busy mother from Peru

Flor lives in Peru, high in the Andean mountains. She is a single mother, widowed 12 years ago shortly after her twins were born. She works hard to live from the land. She uses the water that flows down the surrounding mountains to irrigate her carnations that she sells in the weekly flower market in the nearby town. 

On market days Flor gets up at 1.30am to make the journey down the mountain to sell her flowers at dawn. When she isn’t tending to the carnations, she may be looking after her food crops, cooking the mid-morning snack at the village school, knitting, washing the linen, cooking for her family, washing the dishes, and so many more daily tasks.

Flor is a busy woman, with little time to rest. Even when she isn’t working, she carries out her duties in the community. She is a leader of a women’s group, which with our partner CEAS is learning about how the community can negotiate as an equal with private businesses and government bodies who are interested in using and extracting the abundant natural resources nestled in the mountains.

Flor loves living in the mountains. She says, “Look how beautiful it is here: our landscape and the nature. Day or night we can step outside into a shining world”. She and her community are negotiating hard to protect this “shining world”, not just for themselves but for the good of our common home, and all of us. “It is important to defend the land, for our life, for our right to life, for our children, for our great grandchildren, our families.”

A prayer for courage

Lord, help me and give me courage and strength. May Jesus bless us with life for all our families and grandchildren, that we may have water. Amen.

Act

With the support of Connect2 parishes in England and Wales, Flor is transforming her life. Find out how you and your parish can help transform lives through Connect2.

Join Connect2

This reflection was written by Tania Dalton from CAFOD’s Latin America team. The prayer was written by Julio Isaís Granados from Peru.

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