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March 31, 2017

Lenten reflection, day 31

It is the Jewish feast of Tabernacles, and Jesus decides to go, “not openly, but as it were in secret.” Some of the people who heard him speaking were puzzled. “Is he the Messiah? He can’t be; we know where he is from.” 

According to popular belief, the Messiah was supposed to burst upon the scene mysteriously. No mystery here. The people react somewhat like the “wicked” in today’s first reading: He “boasts that God is his father . . . Let us condemn him to a shameful death.”

The choice the people faced is, in a sense, still before us. Many Jews today see Jesus as an admirable Jew but not the Son of God. Others see him as a great prophet. We recognize him as the Son of God. 

As Pope John Paul II said, “Christ is absolutely original and absolutely unique. If he were only a wise man like Socrates, if he were a prophet like Muhammad, if he were enlightened like Buddha, without doubt he would not be what he is” (quoted in Newsweek, March  27, 2000). 

What we said to the Father in our morning prayer, we might as well say to Christ: “May we reach out with joy to grasp your hand and walk more readily in your ways.” 

Father Philip Dabney, C.Ss.R.

Scripture readings for today: Wisdom 2:1, 12-22; Psalm 34; John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30 

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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