Advent reflection for 1 December

Family of 5 standing outside greenhouse holding different vegetables.

 Nicanora and her family outside the greenhouse with vegetables they have grown.

“I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days and have nothing to eat.”

Matthew 15:32

The compassion of Jesus shines out of this reading. Having spent three days healing the sick, he now notices the hunger of the crowd and miraculously multiplies the few loaves and fish until all are fed. 

Nicanora’s home in rural Bolivia has seen increasingly extreme weather as a result of the climate crisis. The unreliable weather is making it almost impossible to grow fruit and vegetables.  

Thankfully, with the support of CAFOD, Nicanora and her family have built a greenhouse. The controlled environment within it means they can reliably grow fruit and vegetables. So far, they have been cultivating lettuce, celery, maize, spinach, peppers and tomatoes. They’ve also planted strawberries, watermelon and mandarins. 

The whole family is getting involved. The children love to plant seeds and watch them grow. Nicanora told us: “Their hands are good for growing. They have green fingers!”  

Now the family has a fresh, nutritious and healthy diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables left over to sell and provide the family with a cash reserve for uncertain times.  

Like Isaiah’s feast in our first reading, the story of the loaves and fishes reminds us that there is enough to go around if we live out our Christian calling to be people of hope. We refuse to be satisfied until all people have enough. 

Advent prayer

Compassionate Christ,
you reach out to us in love.
Open our eyes to the needs of our hungry world
and make us generous in our response.


Give a World Gift to your loved ones and help a vulnerable family facing difficult farming conditions to build their own greenhouse

Buy a Build a greenhouse World Gift

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