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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

Jesus cures a blind manJesus grew up in the very small village of Nazareth. Most of those who lived there were from Jesus’ extended family. When Jesus left, people in His own town began to hear things about Him—that He worked miracles, that He taught large groups of people, that He was fearless in confronting the religious leaders.

They had a very hard time believing it all. After all, they thought, “We’ve known him all his life.” “He’s (just) the carpenter’s son.” Some thought, “He’s gotten too big for his britches,” or “He’s let fame go to his head.” “Who does he think he is?”

Jesus, teaching at the town’s synagogue, reminds His family and neighbors that God will not be confined to our small way of thinking. The prophet Elijah worked a miracle for a “pagan woman.” So too did his successor, Elisha, curing the Syrian general, Naaman, of his leprosy.

God will not be hemmed in by petty religion and small hearts. In this Year of Mercy, we remember the words of a beautiful hymn: “There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea.”

There is nothing petty or small about the love of God shown to us in Jesus.

Father John McKenna, C.Ss.R.
Brooklyn, N.Y.


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