Fifth Sunday of Lent B

Reflection

The image of the seed in the Gospel reminds us of the process of death that comes before new birth. Sometimes our contribution to the work for justice seems so small in comparison to the changes that need to take place in the world of disadvantage.

The important step is taken when we begin to die to our selfishness and look beyond our needs to those of others. In this way we plant seeds of hope for a better future.
A thought attributed to Archbishop Oscar Romero, who gave his life in the service of justice and his people in El Salvador, places our contributions in perspective:

‘We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete…
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water the seeds already planted,
Knowing that they hold future promise.’

The Lenten prayer space could have plants at different stages of development to reflect the reality of the work of development. The spirit of the Eucharist could be extended by offering some hospitality using tea/coffee and other products from fairly trading companies.
Baskets of seeds could be also passed through the Church inviting people to take one and plant it as a sign of commitment to the work of development with the following prayer printed as a card:

As this seed dies in the ground to allow its fruit to blossom and grow, may the energy we spend on our own needs be channelled to help others. Let new life be born in us and may we emerge this Easter sprouting leaves of justice, truth, forgiveness and peace.


 

Abaniya Awet (16 years old)

Abaniya’s family fled to Barrarut in 1998. They did so because they were very scared of the Militia who used to raid the villages, burn homes, kill and abduct the children. Life in Barrarut was very difficult at first. Initially, they were put up with relatives. Now that they have returned to their home Majaga (Abaniya’s mother) is much happier as she can feel more selfrelianthere. To support herself and her children she grows a little of her own food and works for other farmers. Her husband is living in Barrarut. He has two other wives.
It is very common in the post-war situation in South Sudan for women to be the head of a household. Abaniya gets up at 6am every day and sweeps and fetches water. She then washes, takes some tea and comes to school which is very close by.
Her favourite subjects are Maths and English. She would like to be a nurse when she finishes school.

See also
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