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Today’s Gospel chronicles an important event in our faith and is accounted for in both Luke and Matthew’s Gospels. In Luke’s account, which we read from today, this event is called the Sermon on the Plain.

Directed towards his disciples but announced among a great crowd, Jesus declares the poor blessed in the eyes of God. He surprises the crowd further by declaring that the opposite is true of those who are rich.

This reading challenges our understanding of what matters in the world, and thus, what matters in the eyes of God. What is the purpose of wealth if not used for good? What is the benefit of abundance if not shared?

At the end of the day, it does not matter how high we climb. What matters is how high God believes we deserve to climb.

At CMMB, this Gospel makes us reflect on our successes in the field of global health and how we measure them. The number of people served or medications distributed are vital to understanding our progress. They help us determine the impact of our projects and reveal areas of new need. But just as important as the numbers are the stories behind them.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Edgar Lunda, a monitoring and evaluation officer for CMMB’s child protection programs in Zambia. In a role that uses numbers to track goals and accountability, Edgar never loses sight of the stories that are behind them.

cmmb employee edgar lunda in zambia

Edgar at work in Zambia

In our conversation with Edgar, we asked him if there was anything he wanted our colleagues or donors to know about his work. His response speaks to the core message in today’s Gospel—that there is more to success than what is on the surface. It’s for that very reason that success must be measured in both numbers and the stories they represent.

We will conclude today’s reflections with an excerpt from our conversation with Edgar, but if you’re interested in reading more about Edgar and his work, you can do so by clicking HERE.

It is not just about the numbers. It is about real individuals with real problems. Across the board, individuals are sharing stories of how beneficial these interventions have been to them.

I want to express that we continue to work as a team to benefit the individuals, the mothers, and the children of the communities. I am grateful to those who volunteer here in the country office, the support received from the donors, and everything in between. It is always a good reminder of how connected everything is. 

In grace and peace,


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*Portions of today’s reflection were adapted from and inspired by the Loyola Press Sunday Connection.