Lent reflection for 4 March

Abba Tefsalem stands leaning on his pick, on his dry farmland

Abba Tefsalem on his farmland in Ethiopia.

“… pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.” 

Luke 16:24

The rich man cries out from the flames, asking for pity. Yet he showed no compassion in his own life, ignoring Lazarus lying hungry and thirsty at his gates.  

We are all called to show compassion. To reach out to those like Lazarus who need our help.  

Abba Tefsalem, who lives in Ethiopia, shares how it feels to live without enough water: 

“When you don’t have water, all you think about is water. When you queue for water, all you think about is the water you hope to get. You worry that you won’t get water. It plays on your mind. It is like a sickness.” 

In today’s psalm we hear how the one who trusts in the Lord will be like a “tree that is planted beside the flowing waters, that yields fruit in due season.” 

Without water, Abba Tefsalem cannot yield his fruit. He does everything he can to find work and has ideas of what he would like to do, but without water these dreams are not realistic. 

This Lent let us place our trust in the Lord, so that we may be like the tree in the psalm. Grounded and refreshed by God’s love, may we also reach out in love to those around us.  

Let us show the compassion that the rich man in today’s gospel was missing, and bear fruit as the psalm calls us to do.  

Lent prayer

Merciful God, open our hearts to your love, so that we may be compassionate to others, especially those who are on the margins of society. Lead us in your ways, so that all your people may have fruitful and fulfilling lives. Amen. 


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