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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: March 2015
Tuesday

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

I believe it is the prayer of each of us as Catholics that we die a holy and peaceful death. When that moment comes, we pray we will be blessed with the presence of a priest to receive our last sacraments.

We pray for the comfort of family and loved ones to ease our passage. We pray the love of God will embrace us at the hour of our death. We pray God will not abandon us.

The Gospel today speaks of the anguish and troubled spirit that filled the heart and soul of Jesus as the hour of His death drew near. Such goodness He had shown all His life long.

And what about the comfort offered by His loved ones, the disciples? One of you will betray me! One of you will deny me! For Jesus there would be no going peacefully, softly, and quietly to His death.

Yet Isaiah and John proclaim the glory of God manifested in this suffering servant. Holy is His death that makes our death holy! All for love of you and me!

Let us sing of our salvation in this most holy week: “Save us, Savior of the world, for by Your cross and resurrection, You have set us free.”

Father Denis Sweeney, C.Ss.R.
Boston

 

Monday

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

When Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with costly perfume, Judas said the money would have been better used for the poor. Jesus told him, “The poor you always have with you. This is an anointing for my burial.”

Years ago a young woman visited Mother Teresa in Calcutta. She wanted to figure out just what she should do with her life. In their back yard the sisters cared for the old and sick. There was a raised stone table where they would wash the bodies of the old and sick and weak people. It was a wonderful act of love. 

Many of these same people, just like Jesus, would soon die. But what struck deep into the soul of this woman were the words chiseled on the side of that stone table: This is my body.

The stone table was an altar. The bodies of the old being washed upon it were the very same body of Christ. When we serve the poor in any way, we are anointing the body of Christ.

Father Thomas Deely, C.Ss.R.
Esopus, N.Y.

 

Sunday

Scripture readings for today: Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22; Philippians 2:6-11; Mark 14:1–15:47

“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

This line, spoken by Jesus on the cross, is an invitation for us to listen to the passion story we hear today through the prayer presented in Psalm 22. These words are the first line of that psalm.

As you read over Psalm 22, listen especially for three themes:

First, there is a statement of what is unfolding at the crucifixion: “all who see me mock me” (v. 8), “they have pierced my hands and my feet” (v. 17), and “for my clothing they cast lots” (v. 19).

Second, there is a statement of total trust in God the Father, even in the midst of misery: God “did not turn away from me but heard me when I cried out” (v. 25).

Third, there is a statement about why these events are unfolding, so that “All the ends of the earth will worship and turn to God” (v. 28) and “the generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought” (v. 32).

Today let the passion story unfold through the words of Psalm 22.

Father John Kingsbury, C.Ss.R.
Washington, D.C.

 

Saturday

Scripture readings for today: Ezekiel 37:21-28; Jeremiah 31; John 11:45-56

John’s Gospel today helps us understand the miraculous sign of Lazarus’ resurrection by Jesus. Of the seven signs in John’s Gospel, this is the last and the most important.

It helps us understand more deeply Jesus’ declaration: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to Myself.” Jesus dies to show that His mission is to give eternal life to all mankind, not just a few.

He dies for all the children of the loving Father: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

That is how the Messiah tells us He is the one promised by the Father. He is the one who fulfills God’s plan to send us His son through the Holy Spirit. This is why St. Luke says, “The angel Gabriel was sent by God . . . to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.”

The angel greets the young woman with these words: “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you. . . . Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive . . . and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.”

Mary responds with her fiat: “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Father John Lavin, C.Ss.R.
Boston

Download our 2015 Daily Lenten Devotions booklet here.

Friday

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

Today’s Gospel opens with a group of people picking up stones to throw at Jesus and ends with another group of people believing in Him. To which group do you belong? The one wanting to kill Him? Or the one that listens to Him and accepts His message?

In one way or another, both of these groups followed Jesus throughout His life. At His birth King Herod sought His death, while the Magi bowed down and paid Him homage. During His pubic ministry the scribes and Pharisees plotted to have Him arrested and executed, while His disciples sat at His feet and listened to His life-giving words.

At the end of His earthly sojourn, Pilate ordered His scourging and crucifixion, while Mary and the beloved disciple wept in sorrow at the foot of His cross. Even after His death these two groups pursued Him in the members of His body, the Church. Some sought the death of His followers. Others went out to make disciples of all nations.

To which group do you belong? As Holy Week approaches, let us examine our hearts and ask ourselves whether our words say one thing but our thoughts and actions quite another.

Father Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R.
Wynnewood, Pa.

Download our 2015 Daily Lenten Devotions booklet here.