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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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Lenten reflection, day 16

Scripture readings for today: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20; Psalm 103; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

In today’s Gospel the Pharisees and Scribes criticize Jesus not for being mean and harsh with sinners but rather for being too good. “Imagine,” they say, “He eats with sinners! He forgives them and treats them as friends!”

The first reading today and the responsorial psalm are beautiful hymns to the mercy and love of the Father. The first reading states: “Who is there like You, the God who removes guilt and pardons sin?” And the responsorial psalm proclaims: “The Lord is kind and merciful.”

This is exactly how Jesus experienced His Father—as Abba, a compassionate and understanding parent, and as a true shepherd of His flock.

It is no surprise then that when Jesus is accused for being too good to sinners, He uses this argument: “My Father is kind and merciful; that is why I am the same way. I am a true son of my Father. Let me tell you a story of how He would act. A man had two sons . . .”

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

Download our 2015 Daily Lenten Devotions booklet here.