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Lawrencia (right) worked with women in the fishing community she grew up in to help them learn to increase their profits and save money for difficult times.

A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him.

Luke 23:27-28

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

As Jesus draws closer to the place of execution, he encounters the women of Jerusalem weeping for him. There is a shared empathy here as Jesus recognises their difficulties and tells them not to weep for him, but for themselves and their children.

As we recall this exchange, we remember the many societies where women face huge challenges. Today, women represent the majority of the world’s poorest people. Globally, they are less likely than men to be involved in decision making, to own land or property, or to have access to education, technology and employment.

Lawrencia’s mother used to dry fish and sell it to earn money in Liberia. From a young age, Lawrencia helped her mother as well as making extra money by selling items like milk, biscuits, sugar and soap. She saved her money and used it to pay her school fees and help fund her university studies.

Now Lawrencia works with the women in the community she grew up in who clean, store and sell the fish. Thanks to her training, the women have increased their profits and been able to save for their children’s school fees.

What causes us to weep? Which situations in the world make us cry out to God?

Prayer

Jesus, you cared and spoke out, even on the road to your death.
You knew and felt the struggles of others.
Walk with us.
As we hear the stories of our sisters and brothers who live in poverty,
give us the courage to raise our voices, so that together we can work for change.

Amen.

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