Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 29 March

13-year-old Nirjala with her grandmother in Nepal.

During the 2017 Nepal earthquake, 13-year-old Nirjala's grandmother was trapped under the ruins of her house. Nirjala freed her after four hours.

Jesus wept; and the Jews said, ‘See how much he loved him!’

John 11:35-36

Jesus loved his friend Lazarus. Despite knowing that he would be able to bring him back to life, Jesus is distressed by his friend’s death. He feels sorrow when confronted with the grief of Lazarus’ sisters and the knowledge that he could have prevented this.

So he takes action to relieve their suffering and his own, raising Lazarus from the dead and revealing God’s glory. Through this action many more people come to believe in him.

We cannot help but feel compassion when those we are close to are ill or stricken with grief. We wish that there was something we could do to relieve their pain. We try our best to make a difference and help them feel better.

But what of those who are not among our family or our immediate circle of friends? Do we feel compelled to take action to help them when they are struggling?

This is a question that feels all the more relevant given the situation that we face today.

Sister Juliana, a nurse, who manages a hospital in Zimbabwe says: “Helping people here is like helping my mother and brother. I see them coming and I see my family coming. When they go away, I feel pain if I haven’t helped them. If I can help, I feel joy because I see my family in the people who come here.”

Her fellow worker Sister Consilia adds, “Through treating and caring for them, I try to show them the love that Christ gives us.”

We pray that we too may be moved with compassion for our brothers and sisters worldwide, beyond our own families and friends. May we feel their pain as our own and be compelled to take action to make a difference.

Lent prayer

Christ Jesus, free us from the constraints that prevent us from reaching out to others with love. Fill us with compassion and move us to make a difference in whatever way we can, so that others may see your love in us. Amen.

Act

Read more about the LiveSimply parish challenge - a commitment to live more simply, sustainably and in solidarity with people who are poor. 

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