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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 25

Scripture readings: Isaiah 49:8-15; Psalm 145; John 5:17-30

We have phrases such as “like father, like son” and “like mother, like daughter.” Maybe we’ve even said, “I can’t believe it—I’ve become my mother/my father!” We are the children of our parents, but we expect to become independent and to chart our own course. We never get away from our blood connections, of course, but we presume that we can break out on our own, establish our identity, and live our own lives.

Interestingly, in today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of how He and His Father are one and do the same things. Both Jesus and the Father raise people to life. To honor Jesus is to honor the Father. Jesus wasn’t about breaking out on His own, getting free from His Father. Rather, He chose to become even closer to Him and united with Him.

This is what Jesus invites us to do as well, especially during this season of Lent. It would be the greatest spiritual achievement, in cooperation with God’s grace, for us to be able to say one day: “I can’t believe I’ve become my father,” my Heavenly Father. Yet that is our hope. So may it be.

Rev. Kevin O’Neil, C.Ss.R.
Long Branch, N.J.

Download our 2014 Lenten reflections booklet here