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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 26

Scripture readings: Exodus 32:7-14; Psalm 106; John 5:31-47

cross on calvaryIt is always nice to hear words of praise. “Good job! Nice going! That was very nice!” It is good to say them as well.

What then does Jesus mean when He says, “I do not accept human praise”? Is Jesus saying that it is wrong to accept human praise?

No, Jesus is asking us to look deeper. Jesus is asking us about our motivation. If our motivation is to be praised by others, we will be sorely disappointed most times. People will forget to praise when they should or criticize when they shouldn’t.

A parent doesn’t prepare a family meal to hear praise for the cooking; it is done out of love. Spouses don’t work a 40-hour week to hear praise from their mates; they do it out of love. A friend doesn’t visit someone in the hospital to be praised; he or she does it out of love.

Jesus didn’t die for our sins to be praised; He did it out of love for us.

Jesus goes on to say that we should seek only the praise that comes from God. We don’t go to Mass on Sunday or abstain from meat in Lent to be praised; we do it out of love.

Rev. Patrick Keyes, C.Ss.R.
Bronx, N.Y.

Download our 2014 Lenten reflections booklet here