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1 March 2023

Petula Nurse is a CAFOD volunteer from Wolverhampton.

The people of Nineveh believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.

Jonah 3:5

God threatens the city of Nineveh with a disaster. This is only just averted when the people of the city begin to believe in God, thanks to the arrival of Jonah. They show repentance for what they have done wrong by fasting and wearing sackcloth.

In today’s gospel Jesus recalls this story and reminds us that, “there is something greater than Jonah here”. This Lent, the call to repentance is for each of us – and for all of society. In Nineveh everyone, from the greatest to the least, even the king, heeds the call to change. As followers of Jesus, we can help make sure that those in power hear God’s call to live in a just and compassionate way.

Petula Nurse is a CAFOD volunteer from Wolverhampton. In 2021, she organised one of CAFOD’s biggest ‘Parliament in your Parish’ meetings with her MP, despite never having lobbied him before. Petula explained:

“Campaigning does make a difference. You can’t just leave it to someone else. You can be part of the change by voicing the injustice. Maybe someone else will see you and think they can do something too. I’d never met my MP before organising a big meeting with him, but I thought I’d give it a go. It’s just one step at a time.”

Let’s pray today that we will listen to the message of Jesus, just as the people of Nineveh listened to God’s message delivered by Jonah. And let’s commit to being involved in our local communities and wider society to find the strength together to campaign for change.

Lent prayer

Merciful God,
may we respond to and share
your call to repentance.
Give us the boldness
to speak out against injustice
and the trust to believe
that change can come.


Find out more about how you can become a Campaign volunteer, encouraging others in your parish to speak out in solidarity with the world’s poorest people and call for change at all levels of society.