Saturday after Ash Wednesday, 4 March

LENT 2017

Saturday after Ash Wednesday, 4 March

James is awaiting a new decision form the Home Office

04 March 2017

Saturday after Ash Wednesday, 4 March

From today’s first reading from the Office of Readings:

“And the Lord said, ‘I have seen the miserable state of my people in Egypt. I have heard their appeal to be free of their slave-drivers. Yes, I am well aware of their sufferings. I mean to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians”

Exodus 3:7
Over the weeks of Lent, we will introduce you to a number of the refugee friends JRS accompanies. We invite you to accompany them in their suffering.

Can you hear their appeal?


James’ Story – Part 4

James is awaiting a new decision form the Home Office as to whether he will be formally recognised as a refugee. James sometimes feels frustrated by his situation – he cannot move back to Kenya and he cannot move forwards with life here. He is stuck in limbo.

In spite of this, James believes that happiness is the best medicine and is rarely seen without a smile on his face.

“We don’t buy happiness as I always say, you have to cultivate it yourself. I have faith that whatever it is today, tomorrow will be better”


Pray with the Office of Readings

The Office of Readings is an extended prayer service involving the singing of Psalms and the reading of two longer passages, one from the Bible, the other from the writings of the saints and the Church’s councils. It is a veritable treasure trove of Christian spirituality. It is celebrated first thing in the morning each day by priests, religious and many lay people.

Today, we invite you to join Damian Howard SJ in reflecting on the Daily Office on Readings. You can read the readings on Universalis

“During Lent, the Bible reading of the Office is often taken from the book of Exodus, the forty-year journey through the desert of the God’s chosen people on the way to the Promised Land reflecting our forty days of spiritual preparation for the celebration of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection.

In today’s Office of Readings, the Church remembers the story of Moses’ first encounter with the Lord: the story of the burning bush. It’s a symbol that shows us something important about God’s involvement in the world.

Forest fires are not at all extraordinary; these days an area of woodland equal to the size of India burns every year. But a burning tree that is not destroyed by the fire is quite another matter. It’s a miracle. The Church has long seen in the burning bush an image of the Virgin Mary, on fire with the Holy Spirit by whom she conceives her Son, yet not consumed by the flames of God’s love.

So, the burning bush is a symbol of the impossible taking place. The liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt is the great miracle: God’s creation of His Holy Nation out of a crowd of slaves, a non-people. The Israelites must have thought that the impossible had taken place. Today, refugees, fleeing persecution and other afflictions, achieve what seems to be impossible too. They undertake long and dangerous transcontinental journeys under the most forbidding conditions. When they finally arrive on the shore of a foreign land seeking the protection of strangers, it can seem like the creation of something out of nothing. And we, too, make the impossible happen when we overcome prejudice and hostility so we can offer that welcome and ensure that all are treated with the dignity of God’s children.”

Reflection by Damian Howard SJ

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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