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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 5

suffering childOur first Scripture reading this first Monday of Lent tells us: “Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” We are then given a list of actions that are to be avoided. The list sounds very much like the Ten Commandments.

The very last command, however, brings to mind the words of Jesus, who synthesized the Commandments into two great commandments, the second of which is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” This is precisely what St. Matthew is telling us in his depiction of the final judgment. In the end, what will matter most is how we have responded to the summons to be in relationship with one another, particularly with those who are most in need. 

Though our Lenten journey always calls us to personal inward reflection and quiet stillness with the Lord, it does not end there. Intimacy with Christ always moves us outward to mission—calling us to bring Christ’s light to an often darkened, crippled, and suffering world.

Paradoxically, in our embrace of the other, we come to find our truest self, for there again we encounter Christ, and in His embrace we learn to humbly walk along the pathways of true holiness.  

Father Anthony Michalik, C.Ss.R.

Scripture readings for today: Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18; Psalm 19; Matthew 25:31-46