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April 5, 2017

Lenten reflection, day 36

In today’s Gospel, Jesus refers to Jews who believe in him, but he later accuses them of trying to kill him. Who are these Jews who believed in Jesus?

From the Acts of the Apostles we learn that “Some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers stood up and said, ‘It is necessary to circumcise them’” (Acts 15:5).

These Pharisaical Christians wanted Gentiles to become Jews before becoming Christians. But St. Paul used strong words against them. “Beware of the dogs! Beware of the evil workers! Beware of the mutilation!” (Philippians 3:2)

Still, salvation is from the Jews (John 4:22). We still call Abraham the father of faith and father of the Chosen People. We are a continuation of God’s Chosen People. As Pope Pius XII wrote, we “are all spiritual Semites.” 

Jesus was a Jew, and we are heirs of the same legacy. His Jewish roots are an important part of our Christian heritage. 

Too often we create Jesus in our own image. We make him into a 21st-century Irish-American or Italian-American. Instead, let’s get in touch with our Jewish heritage.

Father John Murray, C.Ss.R.
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Scripture readings for today: Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95; Daniel 3:52-56; John 8:31-42 



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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