Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 1 March

Paul from Zimbabwe with water CAFOD

Paul from Zimbabwe says, “We’re special because we live close to water.”

Good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony.

Luke 16: 19-31

The rich man cries out from the flames, “Father Abraham, pity me!” But this man showed no compassion for his brother Lazarus during his life. He clothed himself in luxury, while dogs licked Lazarus’ sores out on the street.

We are called to live our lives in solidarity. We cannot turn away while our sisters and brothers are robbed of dignity. Let us reach out with love, trusting that God will not desert his people.

Life without water     

Like Lazarus, Memory from Zimbabwe has faced hardship in her life.

She and her daughters used to wake up in the middle of the night to walk for water. They would walk for up to six hours, carrying 20 litres of water each.

Let’s reflect on that for a moment. Think about a small bottle of water you would buy from a shop round the corner. The women carried as much water as 40 of those bottles for hours every day, in the scorching heat. 

Memory’s husband, Paul, reflects on what life was like without water. “We didn’t have enough to wash ourselves,” he says. “The children were dirty. It troubled me. But what alternative did we have?
“When you’re thirsty, you feel dizzy and tired and helpless. But you have no way of getting water. It went on like this for 16 years.”

Good news at last

Thanks to your compassion, CAFOD was able to rebuild an old reservoir outside the village.

This family’s life has changed for good, now they have a source of water close to their home. 

“It’s a huge advantage," says Paul. "Our cattle have increased. Our gardens have increased. People are now bathing and washing themselves because there’s water there. If you look at my children, you can see they’re healthy.”

Memory and Paul are happy to see their children flourishing, and we share in their joy.

Lent prayer

God our Father, you hold a special place for your children who are struggling. May we share our food and water with the hungry and thirsty, and so catch a glimpse of your kingdom here on earth. Amen.   


Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Lent Appeal. Your donations will help give Memory and Paul a new vegetable garden so that they can grow healthy vegetables for their family. And if you donated between 13 February and 12 May, the UK Government will double your donation! 

If you raised money in your parish or school over Lent and still need to pay in the proceeds, you can still have your collection matched.

Donate to Our Lent Appeal

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