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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 34

Scripture readings for today: Ezekiel 37:21-28; Jeremiah 31; John 11:45-56

John’s Gospel today helps us understand the miraculous sign of Lazarus’ resurrection by Jesus. Of the seven signs in John’s Gospel, this is the last and the most important.

It helps us understand more deeply Jesus’ declaration: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to Myself.” Jesus dies to show that His mission is to give eternal life to all mankind, not just a few.

He dies for all the children of the loving Father: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

That is how the Messiah tells us He is the one promised by the Father. He is the one who fulfills God’s plan to send us His son through the Holy Spirit. This is why St. Luke says, “The angel Gabriel was sent by God . . . to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.”

The angel greets the young woman with these words: “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you. . . . Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive . . . and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.”

Mary responds with her fiat: “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Father John Lavin, C.Ss.R.

Download our 2015 Daily Lenten Devotions booklet here.