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Hold Out Your Hand To The Poor In Lent

Author: Martin Brown

Picture: CAFOD

Hold Out Your Hand To The Poor In Lent

Getting involved with CAFOD's Lenten "Walk For Water" campaign is a good way of responding to Pope Francis' invitation to CCR to serve the poor, says Martin Brown.

Pope Francis said these words on the World Day of the Poor: "Hold out your hand to the poor: it is Christ."

In his message, he highlights that relationship with God is closely connected with our relationship with others around us. His message is challenging to us at every level. “The power of God’s grace cannot be restrained by the selfish tendency to put ourselves always first.” Like me, you may have a mixed reaction to that statement.

Pope Francis also spoke to the International Conference of Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the summer of 2019. He shared what he and the Church want from the movement: to share baptism in the Holy Spirit, to serve the unity of the body of Christ and ‘to serve the poor and those in greatest need, physical or spiritual. This does not mean, as some might think, that suddenly the Renewal has become communist. No, it has become evangelical, for this is in the Gospel.

CAFOD-Helping Those In Poverty

CAFOD, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, highlights the needs of those in poverty around the world and gives us ways of responding; through giving, praying, learning and various actions we can take. We also know that many people involved with Catholic Charismatic Renewal are already supporting CAFOD as one way of living out our faith, and for this we are very grateful.

At the moment CAFOD is highlighting the needs of those who don’t have clean water. One such person is Abdella. He lives in Afar in Ethiopia, one of the hottest places on earth. He walks ten hours a day for water just to keep his family alive.

“I am wasting my life. I am a young man; I should be doing something else. The journey for water is so long we have to leave early from the village while it is still dark. I feel tired, I feel hungry.”

One in three people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water and CAFOD are asking you for help as they work to end poverty throughout the world. 

Will you go the extra mile this Lent?

During this COVID lockdown, could you use your recommended exercise time to join Abdella and Walk for Water?

Firstly, for those who want a real target, there is the challenge of completing 10,000 steps every day for the 40 days of Lent. Could you do this challenge as a family? Do you know anyone who would like this challenge? If 10,00 steps (roughly 5 miles) sounds too far for you, could you share the steps with someone else? These walks, in solidarity, are a great chance to pray, raise awareness and raise money for the work. We can send you Lent reflections day by day, one for each day for families or for adults if you want to pray and walk.

Alternatively, you could join our Big Walk for Water on Saturday 20 February at 2 pm, walking alongside Abdella as part of our virtual event. Could you encourage others to join? Your friends, parishioners or family?

Whether we can walk or not, we can all get involved in the fight against poverty. See cafod.org.uk/lent for more information and to see how you can pray, give, campaign and volunteer with CAFOD.

Lord, however You are working with each of us, may the power of Your grace not be restrained. Amen

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