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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 35

Scripture readings for today: Isaiah 42:1-7; Psalm 27; John 12:1-11 

When Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with costly perfume, Judas said the money would have been better used for the poor. Jesus told him, “The poor you always have with you. This is an anointing for my burial.”

Years ago a young woman visited Mother Teresa in Calcutta. She wanted to figure out just what she should do with her life. In their back yard the sisters cared for the old and sick. There was a raised stone table where they would wash the bodies of the old and sick and weak people. It was a wonderful act of love. 

Many of these same people, just like Jesus, would soon die. But what struck deep into the soul of this woman were the words chiseled on the side of that stone table: This is my body.

The stone table was an altar. The bodies of the old being washed upon it were the very same body of Christ. When we serve the poor in any way, we are anointing the body of Christ.

Father Thomas Deely, C.Ss.R.
Esopus, N.Y.