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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 23

Scripture readings for today: Isaiah 65:17-21; Psalm 30; John 4:43-54

I love today’s reading from the prophet Isaiah: “See, I am creating new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered nor come to mind. Instead, shout for joy and be glad forever in what I am creating.”

Yet no matter how much the Word of God says “the former things shall not be remembered nor come to mind,” our memory lets us down. Once we have confessed our sins and they have been forgiven in the sacrament of reconciliation, they no longer exist for God.

Our memory can cause us to feel the guilt of past sins, even though they are forgiven. When our memory afflicts us this way, that’s when we need to pray, “Lord, I repent once again for the sins I have committed. I thank You because You have forgiven them and freed me from my guilt. I am joyful because You love me and show me Your merciful kindness. I am joyful because I am a new creation.”

God does not want us to anguish over and over again about our past failings. Isaiah says it this way: “No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there, or the sound of crying.”

On this day of Lent, may we rejoice and be happy with the new life we receive every time we are forgiven in the sacrament of reconciliation. May our Lenten confession make us a new creation in the risen Jesus Christ this coming Easter.

Father James Gilmour, C.Ss.R.
Piscataway, N.J.

Download our 2015 Daily Lenten Devotions booklet here.