Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 3 April

Yesica, from the Harakbut people, met Pope Francis on his 2018 visit to Peru, and asked him to defend the indigenous Amazon peoples and their home.

Yesica, from the Harakbut people, met Pope Francis on his 2018 visit to Peru, and asked him to defend the indigenous Amazon people and their home.

The waves of death rose about me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; the snares of the grave entangled me; the traps of death confronted me.

Psalm 17:4-5

The psalmist’s words convey the sense of terror he is experiencing. He sees no way out. But he is heard, as the response says, “In my distress I called upon the Lord; and he heard my voice.”

One of the most dispiriting experiences for anyone who has experienced a difficult or dangerous situation is when they feel that no one is listening. Just having someone listen to your fears and concerns makes such a difference to how you feel.

Yesica is from the Harakbut people in the Peruvian Amazon. She met Pope Francis in Puerto Maldonado, Peru, in 2018, and asked him to defend the indigenous Amazon people and their home. She attended the Amazon Synod in Rome last October as an expert witness.

As Yesica says: “Our cry has been heard by Pope Francis - the cry of indigenous communities who are suffering and have suffered.”

She explains how her home is under threat: “Extractive oil, gas, gold companies, those who open roads saying they will bring development, they see the forests as their warehouse…

“The indigenous people do not see the forest as a million dollars but as their home. It must be defended. The Amazon is in danger.

“What are we doing to our home? What are we doing to the earth?”

Take time to listen

In Laudato Sí, Pope Francis reminds us of the importance of spending time with people and being truly present to them:

“We are speaking of an attitude of the heart, one which approaches life with serene attentiveness, which is capable of being fully present to someone without thinking of what comes next, which accepts each moment as a gift from God to be lived to the full.” (#221)

The Synod began a new listening moment for the Church. Let us also try to do our best to be present and listen to the needs of others.

Lent prayer

Loving, merciful Lord, grant us the capacity to be quiet and to listen. Lead us to the joy of being present to others and hearing their story. Let us look with love and gratitude on the world around us and open our hearts to those in need. Amen.

Act

Read more about the Synod and how its implications matter to all of us.

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