Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 12 March
I will rejoice in my people… They will build houses and live in them, they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
Isaiah gives us a vision of hope. No more will the sound of weeping be heard on earth. God’s people will build their own homes and live in fullness and joy.
We can see signs of this in the city of São Paulo, Brazil.
Ten years ago, homeless families moved into Mauá, an abandoned building in the centre of the city. The families cleaned and repaired it, and turned it into a thriving community.
Ever since, the Mauá families have fought for the legal right to their home. But it has been a long and painful struggle. Almost a thousand vulnerable residents – including older people, pregnant women, people with disabilities and children – have lived in fear of being thrown out onto the streets.
Your actions helped to bring about justice
In an incredible show of solidarity, Catholics across England and Wales stood alongside the Mauá families. Thousands of you signed our petition to the Brazilian authorities and spread the word on social media. You had one message: ‘Ficamaua’ – ‘let them stay’.
Thanks to your actions and campaigning by the Mauá community, the Brazilian authorities have at last agreed a peaceful and just solution. The families will not be evicted and will be able to stay in their homes.
Cheers of joy echoed through the building as the people heard this good news. Neti, a leader in the Mauá community, has a special message she’d like to share with you. Watch the video below.
We give thanks to God for this good news, and we rejoice with our sisters and brothers in Mauá.
At night there are tears, but joy comes with dawn. For this we give you thanks, Lord, creator of heaven and earth. Amen.