Lent reflection for 8 March - International Women's Day
“There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you in Elijah’s day… but Elijah was not sent to any one of these; he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a Sidonian town.”
Jesus today reminds us of God’s special concern for the marginalised and poor.
He recalls the story of the prophet Elijah, who in a time of drought is sent by God to a poor widow, not one of the Israelite people but a gentile from Sidon. The widow shares with Elijah the very last of her food and drink and God uses this act of selfless generosity to perform a miracle.
Today many women across the world face the same challenges as that widow. In much of the developing world, women and girls bear the burden of collecting and managing the household water supply, on top of all their other household chores.
Almaz lives in northern Ethiopia, where drought and lack of safe water is a daily challenge. She reflects; “The role of the woman in the home is very difficult. So difficult. All the activities in the home belong to me. I have to get food for my children and my husband – even preparing their clothes, washing. To get water, we travel long distances. When we gather, there are many people at the water point and you wait your turn, many times about five hours.”
Each day, Almaz’s life is consumed by finding water. On this International Women’s Day, we pray for all women and girls who face a daily struggle for life’s necessities.
Loving God, we pray for women and girls today, especially those who struggle just to survive. Inspire us to speak and work for equality and justice, so that each person is able to fulfil their potential. Amen.
On this International Women’s Day, say this prayer for yourself or share the link with a woman in your life who inspires you in your faith.