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23 March

Sister Anthonia, one of the Handmaid Sisters in Sierra Leone whose motto is ‘Love and Service.’

“…these same works of mine testify that the Father has sent me.”

John 5:36

In today’s gospel, we hear of five witnesses to Jesus: John the Baptist, the Father, the Scriptures, Moses and his own actions.

We often speak of Jesus as a teacher, and we know how important his teachings are to guiding our lives today. However, John’s gospel reminds us to look also at his actions. Every one of these is full of love. Love in his eating with those rejected by others. Love in his reaching out to heal the sick. Love in his washing of feet and breaking of bread.

Last Lent, we learned of the work of the Handmaid Sisters in Sierra Leone, whose motto is “Love and service”. Sister Anthonia and the other sisters, supported by CAFOD, are great examples of how actions speak louder than words.

Their project tackles the causes of malnutrition by teaching agriculture and nutrition, supporting new mums, improving access to water, setting up savings and loans schemes and establishing grain banks for farmers.

Sister Anthonia explains that it is love that motivates her work with women and children in Sierra Leone: both her love of God, and love for people she meets in the communities. Because of this love she wants to “reach places where people don’t want to go, to be able to touch life and change life for good.”

Let’s pray that this Lent, we too will be people who put love into action, and thereby change life for good.

Lent prayer

Lord Jesus,
your actions witnessed to your Father.
May our deeds also bear witness
to God’s love.


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Lent Appeal 2023

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