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John the Baptist is once again at the center of today’s reading. Last week, we read about John and the teachings that paved the way for Jesus’ ministry.

In the moments leading up to the passage we read from today, Luke writes of John the Baptist telling his followers that repentance is achieved through actions. In our Gospel, John provides his listeners with examples of what these actions might look like.

John’s examples are simple but powerful. He tells his listeners to give to those without, nourish those with hunger, and always pursue justice.

When we ask ourselves what justice is we think of equality—in terms of resources, rights, and quality of life. This understanding makes the fact that, around the world, an estimated one billion women and children do not have access to adequate nutrition, difficult to come to terms with. Break that reality down further and you’ll learn that malnutrition contributes to 45% of child deaths.

In countries like Peru, progress has been made, but malnutrition and anemia rates have not declined evenly across the country. Children in rural areas are three times more likely to suffer from stunted growth due to malnutrition than those in urban areas.

These are sobering realities, but it’s the actions that we take today that will build a just world tomorrow. At CMMB, we use this as motivation. It strengthens the urgency with which we work and propels us forward, even on the most challenging of days.

A young mother with her baby in Peru. The mother holds her child on her back

In Peru, CMMB took action and launched the First 1,000 Days Program to deliver targeted interventions during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life—the most critical period for preventing malnutrition and decreasing the chances of children suffering permanent developmental setbacks. The results of the project in just the past year have been inspiring. We have a long way to go, but the balance is slowly starting to tilt towards a more just world. If you’re interested in learning more about the First 1000 Days Program and our work in Peru, we encourage you to do so by clicking HERE.

In grace and peace,


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