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April 7, 2017

Lenten reflection, day 38

Like millions of other Christians, I have made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. In Jerusalem I touched the rock traditionally reverenced in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus died for our salvation. I touched the stone slab where the body of Our Lord was prepared for burial.

I prayed at the Wailing Wall, the remaining stones of the Temple, perhaps the holiest place for the Jewish faith. I saw the large stone mountain in Galilee where Jesus called Simon to be the rock of the Church.

Rocks have traditionally been holy, solid foundations, and today’s psalm calls God our rock and our fortress. Rocks have also been used as weapons. 

In today’s Gospel the tension in the Temple area continues to grow. Some want to use rocks to stone Jesus for what they call blasphemy because he told them the truth about himself.

We are close to Holy Week. The rocky mountain of Calvary will be a place of great suffering and great love. We will make that journey with Jesus to Calvary.

We will walk with Joseph of Arimathea and bury Jesus in a rock-hewn tomb. We will experience the finality of his death as the stone is rolled across the entrance to the tomb.

But Holy Week is a journey from suffering and death to the Resurrection. The rock has been rolled away. “Why do you look for the living one among the dead? He is not here. He has been raised.”

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

Scripture readings for today: Jeremiah 20:10-13; Psalm 18; John 10:31-42

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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