Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 8 April

Maria stands outside her greenhouse holding a big bunch of lettuce

Maria with her lettuces

“I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark; he will have the light of life.” 

John 8:12-20

What an amazing sense of certainty this text gives us! However dark things seem, the darkness cannot overcome the light. At the very beginning of time, according to Genesis, God created light. “Let there be light.” Genesis 1:3 

God speaks light into being just as he brings all creation into being, including us. We too are creatures, created out of the love of God. As Pope Francis puts it in Laudato Si’, quoting Benedict XVI:  

“We were conceived in the heart of God, and for this reason ‘each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.’” #65 

Pope Francis goes on to say that these accounts of creation (in Genesis), “suggest that human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbour and with the earth itself.  

“According to the Bible, these three vital relationships have been broken, both outwardly and within us. This rupture is sin. The harmony between the Creator, humanity and creation as a whole was disrupted by our presuming to take the place of God and refusing to acknowledge our creaturely limitations.”  

A healthy relationship with the earth

Maria is a Bolivian woman who has been supported by CAFOD to learn about growing vegetables organically. She says that she has seen changes since she joined the project. 

“I don't buy any vegetables any more. I buy fruit now and nothing else," she says. "I've even been selling lettuce, carrots and onions at the market. So, I'm making a bit of money.   

“Before, I was so limited. I had to buy vegetables from the market and make them last the whole week. I only bought carrots and onions, whereas now I have all sorts of varieties of food like radishes, spinach, oregano, broccoli, lettuce.  

“For me, the best thing about the project has been water. With water, you can do anything. It's important to care for the land so we can feed ourselves. We all have to care for the earth.”

Lent prayer

Creator God, I thank you for all the wonderful gifts you have given us. Light, water, clean air, fresh fruit and vegetables to feed our families. May we treat what we have been given with respect and care for all your beautiful creation. Amen.


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