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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 24

Scripture readings: Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12; Psalm 46; John 5:1-16

Jesus approached a man who had been disabled for 38 years and asked a seemingly foolish question: “Do you want to be healed?” The obvious response was, “Of course!” Jesus cured him by telling him simply to pick up his mat and walk.

In John’s Gospel, miracles are called signs because they point to a deeper reality. Although we do not know for sure, there is the strong possibility that the man was healed not only physically but also spiritually and then followed Jesus.

The same question is asked of us: “Do you want to be healed?” Do we want to be healed of those disabilities that prevent us from loving Jesus and our neighbor? Do we want to be healed of our faults, failings, and sins? Jesus wants to heal us even before we ask. The challenge for us is to open our hearts to receive that healing forgiveness, particularly through the sacrament of reconciliation.

Rev. Gerard J. Knapp, C.Ss.R.