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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 27

Scripture readings for today: Wisdom 2:1, 12-22; Psalm 34; John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

It’s funny how people don’t change over the years. In today’s reading from the Book of Wisdom, the people don’t (or won’t) recognize the just man or the presence of God in their own midst. We see the same thing in the Gospel when the people say, “When the Christ comes, no one will know where He is from.”

There’s an old story about a guy and a flood. Everyone in town was worried about the flood warnings. The man had a dream one night, and God told him, “Have no fear. I will save you!”

When the floodwaters came up, a big truck came by, and he said, “No. God said He would save me.” The water got higher, and the police came by in a boat. He said, “No. God said He would save me.”

The water rose still higher, and the man was sitting on his roof when a helicopter stopped and dropped a basket. “No,” he said. “God said He would save me.” And so he drowned.

Soon he was standing before God, complaining. God said, “Give me a break! I sent you a truck, a boat, and a helicopter. What more did you need?”

We fail like the people in the Scriptures when we don’t see the presence of God all around us in ordinary life.

When you see a mother or father hugging a child who has fallen down, that’s the healing presence of God, if you look for it.

Reaching out with forgiveness to someone who has injured you: that’s the forgiving presence of God. Encouraging a teenager or worried parents. Bringing a meal to a hungry family. All these things make God present to us and to others. They need that, and so do we.

Father Michael Hopkins, C.Ss.R.
New York

Download our 2015 Daily Lenten Devotions booklet here.