Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 5 April

Two donkeys at rest in Kenya.

Two donkeys at rest in Kenya.

I can see four men walking about freely in the heart of the fire without coming to any harm. 

Daniel 3: 14-20, 91-92, 95

The vision we see today is quite startling. Three shadowy figures walk untouched in a burning furnace. The angel of the Lord comes and walks by their side, setting them free.

The three servants of God - Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - refuse to worship the golden statue. They ignore the taunts of the powerful king, and instead hold onto their belief in God.

In what ways are we tempted to worship false idols? Do we submit to earthly powers, or are we brave enough to stay close to God, whatever the cost?

Sometimes I hear tempting whispers to treat myself like a golden statue. I realise I am doing this when I walk through busy London streets, putting myself before others and not letting anyone get in my way. I do not believe I have infinite worth over every creature. But do my actions sometimes speak otherwise?

Caring for animals in Kenya

In Kenya, our partner Caritas Kitui is supporting communities to care for their animals and livestock. Many families own donkeys to help carry the load of collecting water. The donkeys are often under great strain as they walk long distances hauling heavy water. With training, communities are now taking great care of their animals, putting water points along the way for them to rest for some refreshment.

In this way, I think communities are setting their animals free from our temptation for wealth and power. These donkeys are not seen as slaves to be exploited for all that they’re worth. They are allowed time to rest, breathe and play; rights we all inherit.

Pray

Creator God, Redeemer of all, inspire us to have courage and to trust in you always. Amen.

Act

Watch our theological reflection below on Christ the Redeemer of all creation, and say a prayer for all God's creatures.

Download the prayer

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

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