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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Monthly Archives: April 2014
Thursday

Scripture readings: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14; Psalm 116; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-15

Toward the end of the musical Les Misérables, the young Marius sings: “There’s a grief that can’t be spoken; there’s a pain goes on and on; empty chairs at empty tables; now my friends are dead and gone. Here they talked of revolution; here it was they lit the flame; here they sang about tomorrow; and tomorrow never came.”

At the end of our Holy Thursday celebration there will also be an empty table, a table where we were just fed and nourished. A table where the friends of the Lord heard talk of a revolution, not of overthrowing an establishment but of a revolutionary way of living. Living the way of love and service. The flame of the love of our God has been lit, but tomorrow will seem like a dark day.

These next days of betrayal and death will bring a time of grief and pain, but we leave the table of the Lord tonight as a people of hope. The day will soon dawn when all are invited to sit at the table of the Lord, where we can live the revolution of love.

Rev. Paul Borowski, C.Ss.R.
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Download our 2014 Lenten reflections booklet here

Wednesday

Scripture readings: Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalm 69; Matthew 26:14-25

A recent Time magazine cover story featured soldiers returning from war. Besieged by nightmares, anger, and addiction, many find relief and renewed purpose by helping others. The article asked, “Can service save us?”

Tomorrow Jesus begins His act of salvation with an act of service: washing the feet of His disciples. Today, however, the tragic figure of Judas takes center stage.

Judas’ downfall begins with the opposite of service: self-interest. He asks the chief priests, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?”

Judas was chosen by the Lord and entrusted with the community’s money. He didn’t start out with a greedy heart. But somewhere Judas turned to excessive self-love.

A follow-up to the Time article pointed out that people who volunteer are happier, more satisfied with life, and less likely to be depressed. Happier people are more likely to help others.

Today we identify with the prophet Isaiah, not Judas. The prophet realized that the Lord had given him a well-trained tongue, not to win the praise of others but “to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.”

Rev. Francis Mulvaney, C.Ss.R.
Bronx, N.Y.

Download our 2014 Lenten reflections booklet here

Tuesday

Scripture readings: Isaiah 49:1-6; Psalm 71; John 13:21-33, 36-38

Hurt. Disappointed. Wounded. At one time or another, we have all experienced those feelings, and they have left their mark.

In the Gospel today we are confronted with the betrayal of Jesus. In the intimacy of a meal, He reveals the identity of His betrayer and humbles Peter by predicting publicly that he will deny Him. Jesus, even as the Christ, must have fully known the emotional hurt and woundedness of His inner circle.

Yet Christ seems perfectly at peace with all of them, accepting them despite their brokenness. Jesus is showing us how to be merciful and forgiving. Jesus’ response is once again countercultural. Instead of hatred, anger, violence, and revenge, He shows mercy, peace, and most of all, forgiveness.

This Holy Week, may that same mercy flow into the cup of our hearts to the point of overflowing. And may we give the mercy we have received from Our Redeemer to our brothers and sisters.

Rev. Richard Bennett, C.Ss.R.
Bronx, N.Y.

Download our 2014 Lenten reflections booklet here

Monday

Scripture readings: Isaiah 42:1-7; Psalm 27; John 12:1-11

The song “Little Things Mean a Lot” reminds us that in relationships, simple signs of affection—a touch of the hand or a kind word—can be very important and can mean a lot to the ultimate health of the relationship.

The same is true for our little faults and failings. We know they can lead to bigger failings and can ultimately destroy something precious in our life.

The Gospel says that Judas was a thief who stole from the common purse of Jesus’ small community. We know how Judas’ little betrayals led to the final betrayal of Jesus Himself.

Often we do not see our little failings as being very important, but if they are unchecked, we know they can lead to bigger failings, to bigger betrayals.

Today’s Gospel reminds us to pay attention to our big failings and also to our little failings because little things, positive and negative, can mean a lot to the health of our relationships with others and with Jesus.

Rev. Thomas Travers, C.Ss.R.
Esopus, N.Y.

Download our 2014 Lenten reflections booklet here

Sunday

Scripture readings: Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14- 27:66

In English, passion can mean intense emotion, or it can refer to the death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. On this day it means both.

Isaiah shows us the lover as Suffering Servant who “gave [his] back to those who beat [him].”

This is not a silly lover mooning after his beloved but rather the lover who does “not cry out, not shout, not make his voice heard in the street,” who will be silent before Pilate. “A bruised reed he shall not break.” And who among us is not a bruised reed?

The cross quickly became the image of Christ for early Christians. Crosses were drawn on walls and secretly worn around necks, but it took hundreds of years before the body of Jesus was presented upon the cross. The memory of His passion was simply too great.

Today let us take into ourselves the passion of Jesus and dare to join our image with His on that cross.

Rev. J. Francis Jones, C.Ss.R.
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Download our 2014 Lenten reflections booklet here