Lent reflection for 21 February

Man sitting on water cannister

Abdella pauses on his long, hot journey for water

“And at once the Spirit drove him into the desert and he remained there for forty days.” 

Mark 1:12-13

Jesus went out into the desert and stayed there for forty days. During this time, he knew what it was like to be hungry and thirsty, as he tried to survive in the dry and inhospitable landscape. 

We all know what it is to be thirsty, to feel our tongue stick to the roof of our mouth, to feel our head ache from lack of water. But for many of us this is a temporary sensation. Easily solved by turning on the tap. 

And yet for Abdella, 23, who lives in rural Ethiopia, water can only be reached after a long, hot, walk into the mountains. He spends most of his time fetching water, leaving him little energy for anything else. 

Our desert time 

Jesus emerged from the wilderness physically weakened but spiritually strengthened. His ordeal had been a choice, to give him time to prepare, and now he was ready to go out and proclaim the gospel. What change will Lent, our desert time, bring about in us? 

Will we emerge at the other end strengthened and committed to make a change in our world? 

As we fast this Lent, following Jesus’ example in the desert, we remember that everything that we have comes from God, including the water that we drink.  

And let us take time to step back and consider how we can help others who struggle to get their fair share of this precious, life-giving gift.  

Lent prayer

Christ Jesus, you know what it is to hunger and thirst. Open my eyes to my brothers and sisters who struggle to get clean water, and fill me with compassion, so that I may reach out to them in love. Amen. 


This coming Friday is Family Fast Day. Please eat simply and give what you save to support people like Abdella around the world.  

Find out more about Family Fast Day activities.


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