Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 4 March
They proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least.
Jonah preached to the people of Nineveh and they repented of their wicked ways. Everyone, even the king, fasted and put on sackcloth. God saw they wanted to change their ways and had mercy on them.
What changes in lifestyle and attitude does God want of us as Catholics today?
One way that we are being called to change is how we treat the earth. This includes defending the rights of those who care for it – like the indigenous peoples of the Amazon.
The front line of climate change
Mauricio López works for REPAM, a Church pan-Amazon network that promotes the dignity of people living in the nine countries of the region.
Mauricio supports communities whose homes and livelihoods are frequently destroyed by mining companies and large-scale farming businesses that want land to grow palm oil or soya, to raise cattle or to extract minerals.
He tells us: “The Church has been called by indigenous communities to be with them. Indigenous communities trust the Church and we are standing alongside them to defend their territory, their identity and their culture. We cannot fail.”
A call from Pope Francis
In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis denounces the destructive practices that harm the environment and the lives of people who are poor and calls urgently for an ecological conversion.
“The ecological crisis is also a summons to profound interior conversion… Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience.” (#217)
All three readings today show us that our Lenten fasting and repentance cannot be superficial. We must truly mean to change. So, let us do what we can to make a change and care for the earth, our common home.
God the Creator, open my heart to change. Lead me to care for our common home, and all my brothers and sisters who share this earth with me. Amen.
Respond to the words of Pope Francis. Be part of protecting God’s handiwork and encourage others to do the same. Campaign with us.