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Lent calendar 16 March

Lawrencia (right) with Felicia, one of the women who took part in the fishing project

One of them, Nicodemus… said to them, ‘But surely the Law does not allow us to pass judgement on a man without giving him a hearing and discovering what he is about?’

John 7:51

The people cannot decide what to make of Jesus. Is he a prophet? Is he the Christ? How could the Christ possibly come from Galilee, a humble carpenter?

The Pharisees are dismissive of Jesus and his followers. Their own opinion, they are confident, is worth far more than “the rabble [which] knows nothing of the Law”.

Whether based on looks, education, job or lack of one, or where someone comes from, we are often all too quick to judge people on things that are beyond their control.

West Point, an area in Liberia where our fishing project has been running, has its challenges. It is a deprived area, with narrow alleyways between makeshift houses. While many people who live there are hard-working, there is also a high crime rate and distressing levels of drug addiction, especially among the young.

As Lawrencia, who grew up here herself and is now training local women, told us:

“If you are from West Point and you go to town… they can look down on you… they won’t see you as somebody who will make impact in the community.”

She hopes that one day this will change.

Let us make an effort not to be too quick to judge. Let us aim to be more like Nicodemus, who raised his voice to try and get Jesus a fair hearing. Let us be determined to listen and learn, especially from those who are different from us. And let us encourage others to do the same.


God of all, grant that we may not judge others, but instead be open to listen and learn from them, no matter who they are or where they come from. Amen.


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