Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 15 March - Family Fast Day

Mahinur's husband Khalek talks to Jamal who is an agriculture expert

Mahinur's husband Khalek talks to Jamal

“Go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering.” 

Matthew 5:20-26

We are all sisters and brothers. As children of God, we belong to one huge global family. Our faith teaches us that what happens to one of us, affects all of us. 

Jamal is an agriculture expert in Bangladesh, who works with families on the very edge of existence.  

“I’ve been working in this area for a long time and have developed a relationship with people,” Jamal says. “We call each other ‘sister’, ‘brother’. I understand that we are all men and women, nothing else. We are equal.” 

At the moment, however, lack of resources means he cannot help Mahinur and her husband Khalek, whose story we have followed in previous reflections.  

At CAFOD we have to turn down one in three requests for help because we simply do not have enough funds to help them all. Mahinur and her family are the one in three. 

We are all responsible for all

As Jamal says, “I feel terrible telling them I can’t do anything to help. I feel bad. I’m sad about the whole situation. I feel so sorry. When I meet a family like Mahinur’s, I see the situation they’re in and I wonder ‘how are you managing to survive?’” 

Our faith calls us to feel compassion for others, especially those who seem beyond reach. Knowing that any of our brothers and sisters are struggling, means that we are struggling too.  

As St John Paul II wrote in Sollicitudo Rei Socialis #38, “We are all responsible for all.”  

On this Family Fast Day we have an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of more people like Mahinur and Khalek throughout the world, people who seem out of reach. What will each of us do today? 

Lent prayer

Lord, open my heart to others, especially those who hunger and hurt. Inspire and move me to stretch out my hand in love to those in need, so all people may flourish. Amen.  

Share our Family Fast Day prayer with others and say it before meals today. 


Today is Family Fast Day. Eat simply and give the money that you save to help people like Mahinur around the world. Your generosity is a lifeline for women, men and children all over the world.

Donate today

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