Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 6 March
For I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
Matthew 25: 31-46
It can be easy to feel discouraged when we read the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel, as he lists the great good deeds of the virtuous ‘sheep’ – feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, clothing the naked and visiting the sick and imprisoned. It can be hard to recognise such great acts in the ordinariness of our day-to-day lives.
When I sat in a chilly church, a few months ago, struggling to find the right words that could convey the message of welcome I felt onto the CAFOD refugee action card on my lap, it felt like a very small, simple and possibly insignificant act – not on a level with the deeds Jesus speaks of in Matthew’s Gospel. But, my small act, when added to those of my community and those of many parish and school communities across England and Wales, can have a huge impact.
Mohammed is originally from Afghanistan, but had been living in Iran for 23 years before the country began expelling Afghans. Now he is living with his wife and young child in a refugee hostel in Greece, and hoping to join his parents who are living in Germany. When asked about people who write messages of hope or go on marches to support refugees, he said:
“These people, they’re not just humans, they’re really good humans, those who want to help support us. We didn’t leave our homes because we had peace, and food, and a peaceful life, we left because we had such problems.”
For me, hearing Mohammed’s reaction to these messages and actions of solidarity, helps me to recognise the kind of acts Jesus speaks of in what I am already doing and inspires me to do more.
God of compassion and love, we offer you our lives and each action of compassion, no matter how small, and ask you to bring your light and love to the lives of those in need. Amen.
This reflection was written by Sarah Cadwallader who works with CAFOD’s Regional teams across England and Wales.