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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 17

Scripture readings for today: 2 Kings 5:1-15; Psalm 42; Luke 4:24-30

In the first reading at Mass today we are presented with Naaman, a Syrian general—a rich, powerful, and haughty foreigner—looking for a miracle from a people he probably despised.

What he found was not exactly what he expected. He was looking for a major miracle with fireworks and trumpet blasts attached. What he got was a no-fanfare miracle that quietly healed both his body and his soul.

In the Gospel Jesus invokes the memory of Naaman in chiding the people of Nazareth for not accepting a prophet “in His own place,” an old proverb well known to all of them. And then He reminds them of the “widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.”

Why? He did it to show that the love of God extends beyond any limits, any boundaries, we might try to impose on it. God’s mercy goes to everyone, even the people we don’t like. It was not a message the people of Nazareth wanted to hear, and frequently we don’t either.

No one controls God.

His mercy is for everyone.

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

Download our 2015 Daily Lenten Devotions booklet here.