Lent reflection for 13 March

Paolo by the stairs in front of the retaining wall built by the community.

19 year old Paolo volunteers his time to help ensure that his neighbours will be safe.

“What I want is love, not sacrifice. Knowledge of God not holocausts.” 

Hosea 6:6

Today’s readings make clear that God values love above external religious practice. The parable Jesus offers in the gospel tells us of the tax collector and a Pharisee. The tax collector is humble and aware of his need for God and thus is pleasing to him. The Pharisee, meanwhile, is full of pride and uses his religious observance for show. Our own Christian life, we learn, will only lead us to God if lived with real love 

What does this love look like? St Augustine offers a possible answer: “It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of others. That is what love looks like.” 

Caring for our neighbours 

Paolo who is 19 and lives in Peru, shows us what this love looks like. The settlement where he lives is built high into the steep hillside of southern Lima, the capital city.  

Paolo volunteers his time to help build a staircase down the hill so that his neighbours will be safe, especially in an emergency. He says:; "For me, community service is really important. It is something that you do to improve your community to help it to grow and develop.” 

To love, then, is to be attentive others – in our families, our workplaces, our communities and across the world. May we grow in love this Lent. 

Lent prayer

Blessed are you, Lord, you bless us with your love and call us to be a blessing to others. Amen. 


Reach out in love to others this Lent. If you can, donate to our Lent appeal and help ensure our sisters and brothers have access to clean, safe water. 

Donate now.

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