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Cynthia with her son Messi. She did all she could to get enough food for Messi to eat, when her partner James was struggling to catch enough fish.

Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul too.

Luke 2:33-35

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you,
because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

This was the fulfilment of Simeon’s prophecy, the sword that ran through Mary’s soul. She who nurtured Jesus as a baby, witnessed his first steps and words, now meets her son on this final journey. What pain Mary must have felt, unable to reach out to help or comfort Jesus. Yet she remains present and steadfast, as so many mothers throughout the world do in challenging times.

Cynthia in Liberia did all that she could to try and make sure her son had enough to eat, even when her partner James was not catching much fish. She borrowed food from neighbours, took out loans and watched others braiding hair, so that she could learn how to do it herself and earn some money.

Thankfully, due to the training and equipment that James has received, he is catching more fish and Cynthia is able to sell these for a profit.

Let us look to the example of Mary and not turn our faces away from those who are suffering.


Jesus, you looked through the crowd
and saw your mother’s eyes.
Her love gave you the strength to carry on.
Walk with us.
When we don’t want to listen, open our ears to hear.
When it would be easier to look away, open our eyes to see.


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