Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 8 April

Syrian refugee with his unversity certificate

William fled with his few possessions from the conflict in Syria.

Jesus was to die for the nation – and not for the nation only, but to gather together in unity the scattered children of God.

John 11:45-56

The UN estimates that there are 65.3 million forcibly displaced people around the world, with 4.9 million people fleeing from Syria since the conflict began 6 years ago. 

One of these people is 24-year-old William. He fled Syria because of the conflict, and because various armed groups involved would try to get him to fight for them. After 30 days of travelling, he and his family arrived in Greece.

William had brought with him a jacket and shoes from home. Although his shoes were now letting in water, he said it wasn’t the cold or hunger that mattered to him.

Taking out his waterproof safety wallet, he produced a number of documents; amongst them school and university papers and exam result certificates. In Syria, William was half way through his university course. “The thing I want most," he said, "is to be able to finish my studies in Germany. When I finish, I want to be a teacher.” William is holding onto the one thing that really matters - his dream for a better future.  

In today’s Gospel, we hear of how the Lord guards us as the shepherd of his flock and will gather his people together. This Lent, let us remember those who have been scattered from their homes, fleeing from violence or oppression. Let us pray and act so that they may achieve their aspirations.

Pray

Father, you gave your only son for your flock; we pray that all our sisters and brothers may thrive in your love. Amen.

Act

Discuss CAFOD’s Lost Family Portraits with your family or friends.

This reflection was written by Thomas Delamere who works with young adults in CAFOD’s Education team. 

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