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March 11, 2017

Lenten reflection, day 11

forgiving like JesusAs Christians, we are called to be joyful, friendly people who love everyone. But that doesn’t mean we will always encounter other joyful, pleasant, agreeable, non-judgmental, loving people. At times we will encounter those who do not trust us or agree with what we say and do. We will encounter people who despise us, curse us, and even hate us and our Christian principles. 

How will we respond? Will we retaliate with anger and hatred, or will we soften our hearts and treat our “enemies” as friends? Will we alienate and resent them, or will we forgive and show mercy toward them? Will we follow the Old Testament law, or will we embrace and follow Jesus’ command: “Love your enemies, pray for your persecutors”?

God invites us to put aside anger, resentment, and hatred and instead to embrace understanding, mercy, and forgiveness. He calls us to become reconcilers, not judges; forgivers, not scorekeepers. 

When we become more like Jesus, we will experience great joy and true happiness. As we journey through this Lenten season, may our God give us the grace needed to put into practice Jesus’ great commandment “to love one another.” May he give us the ability, strength, and humility to forgive those who have hurt us and become reconciled with those whom we have hurt. 

Father John McLoughlin, C.Ss.R.
Ephrata, Pa.

Scripture readings for today: Deuteronomy 26:16-19; Psalm 119; Matthew 5:43-48



Who are the Redemptorists?

Two thousand years ago Jesus said, “He sent me to preach the Good News to the poor.” Since 1732 the Redemptorists have followed in His footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned. Our congregation of missionary priests and brothers was founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori. Like the first Apostles, our mission—and our joy—is bringing the message of salvation to all people. As Redemptorists, we have a special devotion to crib, cross, Mary, and the Eucharist. To learn more, explore our website and connect with us on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

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