Lent reflection: The shadow of hunger looms

Mahinur shows a large bowl which contains just one tiny fish

In this reflection on Jesus’ temptation in the desert (Luke 4:1-13) taken from our Lent calendar, Catherine from our Theology team considers the dark shadow that hunger can cast on people’s lives.

Based on the gospel for Sunday 10 March – Luke 4:1-13

“During that time he ate nothing and at the end he was hungry.”

For daily reflections throughout Lent see our Lent calendar.

Jesus knew what it was like to go hungry. He fasted in the desert for forty days.

There he was tempted by the devil who offered him food, then power and glory, and then the chance to put God to the test. Jesus resisted. 

We all know a little about feeling hungry. How it can make us feel shaky and weak, lead us to make poor decisions or become emotional.   

For some of us, that hunger is temporary. Quickly sated by the next snack or meal.  

For many though, hunger is an ever-present concern. A dark shadow looms as they wonder when they will next be able to eat.  

Eat a simple meal this Family Fast Day in solidarity with those who go hungry.

“Some days I go without food” 

Mahinur crouches by the riverbank holding a small boat with her son Rabiul in,
Mahinur with her son Rabiul in their boat on the river by their home in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, Mahinur works hard to provide for her son and husband who have disabilities. They have no land to grow food. She used to fish but the river dried up last year and the fish have not returned.

Mahinur does what she can to feed the family, but it is not enough. “Some days I go without food. When I had no work, I was so hungry.”

She clutches her stomach. “When we have no food in the house, sometimes my son goes to the neighbours and other people feed him. On days like that, my husband doesn’t eat. It’s very difficult for us.”

Read more about Mahinur’s story.

Share the hunger of others

As we fast this Lent, following Jesus’ example in the desert, we remember that everything we have comes from God.

As we feel hunger, let us take time to step back and consider how we can help others, especially those like Mahinur who are hungry.

Donate to our Lent appeal to help people like Mahinur get enough food.

Lent prayer

Christ Jesus, you know what it is to feel hungry and alone. Open my eyes to my brothers and sisters who will not eat today, and fill me with compassion, so that I may reach out to them in love. Amen

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