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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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Thursday

Lent, day 23: Thursday of the third week

Our Lenten practice becomes self-serving if it doesn’t empower us to lift up those who have been silenced or marginalized.

Jeremiah 7:23-28; Psalm 95; Luke 11:14-23

Noise is one of the afflictions of modern life, and we can easily be sucked into its vortex, even allowing ourselves to become addicted to it. But we are in desperate need of silence, the very atmosphere needed for us to hear God’s voice.

And if we give God half a chance, we will experience how loving and caring is God’s actual voice. Silence, for some, is equated with loneliness or emptiness. But sacred silence is far from being empty. Rather, it creates the possibility of being alone with God, the One who is ever loving and gentle and life-giving—God, who is ever saying to us as in today’s first reading from Jeremiah: “I will be your God, and you shall be my people” (7:23).

Jesus is all about liberation, as today’s Gospel makes stunningly clear—setting that “dumb” man free to speak, to finally hear his own voice and have it heard!

“The reign of God is upon you,” Jesus assures us, “if it is by the finger of God that I cast out devils” (Luke 11:20). Our Lenten practice becomes self-serving if it doesn’t empower us to do the same, to lift up all those whose voice has been silenced or marginalized.

So let us “be with Christ, not against him” by enabling the wounded and oppressed to discover their voice, working for the justice of the reign of God, born from intimate and deeply attentive listening to God’s loving and empowering voice in sacred silence.

Father Francis Gargani, C.Ss.R.
Brooklyn, N.Y.


28 de marzo, jueves de la tercera semana

Jeremías 7:23-28; Salmo 95; Lucas 11:14-23

El ruido es una de las aflicciones de la vida moderna y podemos ser fácilmente absorbidos en su vórtice, incluso llegando a volvernos adictos a él. Pero necesitamos desesperadamente el silencio, el ambiente adecuado para escuchar la voz de Dios.

Y si le damos a Dios media oportunidad, experimentaremos cuán amoroso es su voz. El silencio, para algunos, equivale a la soledad o el vacío. Pero el silencio sagrado está lejos de estar vacío. En lugar de ello, crea la posibilidad de estar a solas con Dios, aquél que es siempre afectuoso, gentil y dador de vida—Dios, que siempre nos está diciendo, como en la primera lectura de Jeremías de hoy: “Yo seré su Dios y ustedes serán mi pueblo” (7:23).

Jesús tiene que ver con la liberación, como deja totalmente claro el Evangelio de hoy, donde se deja hablar a un hombre “mudo” para que finalmente escuche su propia voz y sea escuchado.

Nos asegura Jesús, “Pero si yo arrojo a los demonios con el dedo de Dios, eso significa que ha llegado a ustedes el Reino de Dios”. (Lucas 11:20). Nuestra práctica cuaresmal se vuelve egoísta si no nos empodera para que hagamos lo mismo, para levantar a todos aquellos cuya voz ha sido silenciada o marginalizada.

Así que “estemos con Cristo, no contra él”, permitiendo que los heridos y los oprimidos descubran su voz, trabajando por la justicia del reino de Dios, nacida desde una escucha íntima y profundamente atenta a la voz empoderadora y afectuosa de Dios en el silencio sagrado.

Padre Francis Gargani, C.Ss.R.
Brooklyn, N.Y.

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