Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Justin Welby have jointly launched an initiative this Lent to encourage people to pray for the work churches do to support those in their parishes and beyond.
During this week Archbishop Justin and Cardinal Vincent will give also give thanks to God daily for this essential act of service and they will pray for his blessing on the work of churches serving people in need.
Their aim is that by joining together in prayer and encouraging others to join them they will foster the work of the church in strengthening communities and helping those in need across the country.
Each day reflections on the readings will be available to watch on the Diocese of Westminster and Lambeth Palace websites.
To download the resources of ‘Listen to God: Hear the Poor’ click here
Saturday 12 April
Day 7's reflection is given by Fr Michael Dunne, Parish Priest of Our Lady and St Catherine of Sienna. Fr Michael speaks about Luke's version of the Beatitudes and the call for those with wealth to satisfy the needs of the poor.
Fr Michael also talks about his experience of helping to found a foodbank in Bow, a project undertaken with the help of people of different faiths, and the impact it is having on the community.
Friday 11 April
On Day 6 Dr Paula Gooder, a writer and lecturer in Biblical Studies, reflects on today's readings from Matthew's Gospel on the parable of the sheep and the goats. Dr Paula reminds us of the care Jesus calls on us to place on those we meet in our lives.
Thursday 10 April
Today Fr Dominic McKenna, parish priest for the Catholic parishes of Borehamwood, reflects on the reading of Jesus and the miracle feeding of the five thousand.
Fr Dominic also talks of his experience of the generosity of people in the community in the work of the parishes’ foodbank and a Contact the Elderly group and his appreciation that: “Once we have a situation where we realise people are in need it is amazing how many people want to help.”
Wednesday 9 April
On day four of Archbishop Justin and Cardinal Nichols's week of prayer for Christian social action, Children Society Chief Executive, the Rev Matthew Reed, reflects on Jesus' words in Matthew 18 - 'Whoever welcomes a child welcomes me' - and what it means to truly welcome and listen to children.
The Revd Matthew Reed is reflecting on today's prayers and readings, which are Psalm 34 and Matthew 18:1-5
Tuesday 8 April
Bishop Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, reflects on the challenge that today's readings have to welcome people into our lives. Bishop Stephen also relays his own experience as a student when a stranger showed him what true generosity is and how to welcome those we don’t know yet as our brothers and sisters.
Monday 7 April
Sister Michlowicz reflects on Social Action and the temptation to focus instantly on what we can do, she uses the words of St John in today’s reading that first we need to know Christ’s love for us and develop our relationship with him, which will support and nourish us through our work.
Sr Ula gives the example of Blessed Mother Theresa who spent a particularly long time in adoration, showing the close link between love of God and love of the poor.
Sunday 6 April
In his opening talk Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, introduces the Pilgrimage which he and the Archbishop of Canterbury are undertaking over the coming week:
“Archbishop Justin and I invite you to join us in a pilgrimage of prayer. The theme of this pilgrimage is ‘Listen to God: Hear the Poor’; and it is those two things together, our attentiveness to God and our response to the poor, that we want to explore in this pilgrimage.”
“We hope you will explore these themes in your prayer and in your action with Archbishop Justin and myself in the approach to Holy Week and the great Feasts of our Christian Faith”