Meditation and prayers

WAY OF THE CROSS


    

Loving Jesus, as we set out with you on your journey to Calvary,
may we open our hearts to all those who walk that journey today. Give us the grace to understand how our lives are linked with theirs.


 In a world that produces enough food for every woman, man and child to eat a daily balanced diet, almost one billion people do not have enough food to lead healthy and productive lives.
Most live in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, the countries where Development and Peace has programs.
Food sovereignty, the ability of countries to define their own food policies and food system, would help reduce hunger.
“Food sovereignty means that we can produce our own food by ourselves, with our own techniques and with our own means, so we can manage to feed ourselves,” says Guerlande Agella
from Development and Peace’s partner organization Fanm Deside
(Fam Day-see-day) in Haiti.

Loving Jesus, you accepted your cross upon your back. Help us accept our responsibility to assist people affected by natural disasters.

In the Global South people have to start over each time a
natural disaster such as a typhoon, a flood or a drought
destroys their livelihoods.
When Typhoon Haiyan, the biggest typhoon on record, hit the Philippines in November 2013, parishes across Canada opened their hearts. Thanks to their generosity, Caritas Philippines-NASSA was ready to help fishing families whose homes and fishing boats had been destroyed. Fishers received new fishing boats to make a living so that they can rebuild their lives, and they are in turn giving back a portion of their catch to their community to help others. Fisher Rodel Doble says, “It is such a blessing from God to have my own boat. What I give of my catch is so small compared to what we have been given.”

Loving Jesus, you fell under the weight of the cross and rose
again to continue your journey. We remember parishes across
Canada who help people in communities like Benjamin’s to rise up and claim their right to live in dignity.

In Colombia, poor communities have been forced off their land
so that African oil palm can be grown as agrofuel to power
vehicles in North America and Europe. In Colombia, Development and Peace partner Justice and Peace (Justicia y Paz) helps such communities return to their lands. “African oil palm kills
biodiversity and destroys the soul of the land,” says Benjamin,
a member of one of the communities. “That is why we resist peacefully.”

Loving Jesus, Mary’s pain leads us to a deeper understanding of your humanity. May the cries of hungry children and the grief of their mothers open our hearts to respond with generosity and
compassion. Whatever we do to the least of these, we do to you.

Poor mothers in developing countries often have to watch
helplessly as their children die from hunger and preventable
diseases. About 30,000 children will die today because of
poverty.

Loving Jesus, when the weight of your cross became too heavy to bear, Simon came to your help. May the Church continue to speak out about the structures of injustice which create and sustain poverty.

The weight of unfair trade weighs heavily on many poor countries, denying them the opportunity to sell their goods, including agricultural products, for a fair price. Blessed Pope Paul VI said that when we give aid to poor countries while we deny them opportunities to trade, we are giving with one hand and taking with the other.

Loving Jesus, Veronica reached out in love to ease your suffering. May we follow her example, and the example of people and parishes in Canada, who help these small-scale farmers in Brazil help them-selves.

Small acts of love can touch the lives of many people. In Brazil,
Development and Peace partner The Movement of Small Farmers
(MPA) founded seed fairs and seed banks. Women farmers
carefully harvest seeds from their vegetable gardens, and
share them at a seed fair so that others will have enough for
the next planting. This ensures that they don’t have to go into
debt to buy seeds from a large corporation, and preserves the
biodiversity of their food supply.

Loving Jesus, the courage and resilience of the women in the Harar region of Ethiopia challenge us to ask why so many
people are hungry in our world of plenty. May they inspire us to
support Development and Peace campaigns for an end to poverty
and injustice.

Hunger brings people to their knees. Almost one billion people
will go to bed hungry tonight. In Ethiopia, Development and Peace
supports a Caritas Harar project which gives women farmers the training and tools that they need to grow crops on their drought-prone land. This project helped these farming families recover from the last famine. Now they have what they need to avoid famine during the next drought.

Way of the Cross - part 2