Lent reflection for 1 March

Abba Tesfalem stands on his families farmland

Abba Tesfalem, an Ethiopian Orthodox priest, who lives in northern Ethiopia.  

“Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap.” 

Luke 6:38

Today’s gospel reminds us to be compassionate, as God is compassionate, not to judge or condemn others and to give generously.  

Abba Tesfalem is an Ethiopian Orthodox priest who lives in northern Ethiopia.  The drought makes it hard to grow food, and also means there is very little paid work that he can do to support his family.  

He says, “There was a time in March when there was nothing. There wasn’t enough to buy food from the market. The only option was to take a loan and to survive by buying bread. We couldn’t afford wheat. We had to buy bread. And we made it last. It was very challenging.” 

A gift from the heart 

Despite these challenges, Abba Tesfalem still reached out in compassion to others. 

“Another family we know, I gave some money to them. They didn’t have enough and they had big problems. I had to help them and they bought bread.” 

We all have something we can offer to others. A smile to brighten someone’s day. The gift of our time. Or like Abba Tesfalem, sharing what we have. 

As the gospel says, when we give of ourselves, we can receive so much more in return. We might learn something new, or make a friend. Or we might just come away knowing that we did a good thing.  

Lent prayer

God of love, may I be compassionate as you are compassionate and generous as you are generous. Through me, may others know of your love. Amen.


Reach out to those around you with compassion and give generously – offer a smile or a helping hand to someone who is struggling. 

Give of your time and energy to help make the world a better place. Volunteer with us.

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