Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 2 April - Fifth Sunday of Lent

Doha a 17 year old in Gaza

Doha sits outside her family home in Gaza.

Jesus wept; and the Jews said, ‘See how much he loved him!’ 

John 11:1-45

Jesus is profoundly moved by the death of Lazarus. The Lord understands the sorrow of death, and in this way he shows his human vulnerability.

In Gaza in the Middle East, lives 17-year-old Doha, a name which means ‘the break of day’. Three years ago, Doha survived the 51 days of conflict in the territory which killed 2,200 Palestinians, 6 Israeli civilians and 67 soldiers, and destroyed over 18,000 homes. Doha took shelter from the worst of the fighting by sleeping overnight at her school.

When at last the ceasefire came, Doha returned home with her sisters and brothers. But it was still dangerous to be out on the streets. One night, her parents went out to fetch water for the family. Tragically, her mother and father were killed in a bomb blast.

“I was so sad after my parents died,” Doha said. “I didn’t know what to do. I cried a lot.”     

At times in our lives, when we lose a loved one or a friend is mourning, all we can do is cry. But our love and support for one another in these moments gives us strength and brings us closer as children of God. This reminds us of the hope that God brings, as he enfolds us in tenderness and mercy.


Eternal God, you created us and shaped us. Thank you for all that you give us. Make us worthy, we pray, to arise in the new life of salvation. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.  


Thanks to our partners, Doha now has running water in her home and she is learning safe hygiene practices. Please give to our emergency response fund or fundraise to help more families rebuild their lives in Gaza.

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

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