Thursday, March 09, 2017

Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 9 March

As for me, give me courage.
Esther 4:17
In today’s reading we hear Esther calling out to God in prayer asking for help in her time of need. 

The whole story of Esther centres around her risking her life to save her people; at this point in the story she is filled with fear at the thought of failing and perishing but she courageously does it anyway.

I have never had to risk my life or even livelihood to maintain my integrity but many people face this kind of challenge on a regular basis.

Sheherezad is an Arab agricultural labourer and citizen of Israel. She has struggled to find a job and has encountered exploitation in the work place. She speaks about her experience of work and the support she has received from CAFOD’s partner WAC-Ma’an.

“I first worked in agriculture via an Arab labour contractor,” she explains, “but I found out that the company was paying twice what I received – the contractor was making enormous profit at my expense. That same day I quit work.

“I found work at a packing house, and there I met women working via WAC-Ma’an. They were earning about the same as me, but I paid a lot for transport which they did not. But what caught my attention was that I saw a WAC representative, coming to visit them, to talk with them, help them solve problems, and asked them what they needed or if anything was lacking."

By talking to the other women, Sheherezad understood how she was being treated unfairly at work, and she decided enough was enough. 

Prayer for courage

God of Justice, give us courage as we seek to bring about a fairer world by challenging the injustice we see. May we always stand alongside all those who experience exploitation or prejudice of any kind. Amen.

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