REFLECTION - FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
10 March 2019
Our readings today take us on a significant wilderness experience. Like the people of Israel we sometimes find that we are wandering in a world that turns away from the most marginalised and vulnerable to injustice.
The gospel story helps us to see that we share our humanity with Jesus. All human beings, from time to time find themselves struggling to cling on to hope. Jesus is no exception. This story is familiar to all of us- it is read on the first Sunday of Lent each year. What never changes is the sense of Jesus' rising above the struggle and speaking truth to power.
Our story this week of Thandolwayo and her community in Zimbabwe, depicts a community which has been rejected a number of times and was in danger of losing hope. Twelve-year-old Thandolwayo would walk seven kilometers each day, threatened by crocodiles, to collect contaminated water for her family. It looked like she would never realise her hope of finishing her education and becoming a nurse, until a Caritas Australia supported project created access to clean water helped Thandolwayo to stay at school and achieve a future full of hope.
Our response to the psalm today 'be with me lord when I am in trouble', reminds us that God is our refuge, God walks alongside us strengthening us as our life journey unfolds. In this context, Caritas and its partners are showing something of the life-giving compassion of God as they accompany Thandolwayo and her community.
Lives change when we all give 100%.
Through their unfailing hope this community prevails in its efforts to overcome rejection and adversity and the people are empowered to be the architects of their own future. We share in this story. Supporting Project Compassion is a way we can proclaim the faith that is in our hearts and on our lips, as St. Paul reminds us in the second reading today. This enlivens our faith and enables us to accompany our brothers and sisters in their efforts to thrive.
We might ask ourselves, how can we encourage one another in faith and hope this Lent?