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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 9

Scripture readings for today: Ezekiel 18:21-28; Psalm 130; Matthew 5:20-26

In his rule for monks St. Benedict wrote that they should “prefer nothing to the love of Jesus.” It is Jesus’ love that makes a community blessed and holy. It is His love that brings peace, forgiveness, consolation, and reconciliation to all humankind.

It is His love that saves us from sin and death. It is His love that liberates us so we can once again be connected to the Father and, we hope, enter the kingdom of heaven.

We are called to imitate the love Jesus has shared with us. One of the best ways we can do that is by taking the first step in the reconciliation process. If someone has something against us, we should seek out the person and try to make peace. We should reach out to those who have offended us, putting aside our own hurts and needs and offering them forgiveness and consolation.

If we want to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must realize that the reign of God is present among us here and now. We must embrace Jesus’ attitude of compassion, forgiveness, justice, and reconciliation.

May the love of Jesus give us the ability never to hesitate to forgive and seek forgiveness, never to let hatred, distrust, and disappointment bury us in the tombs of anger, self-pity, and self-righteousness.

May His love nourish, strengthen, and enable us to extend the hand of reconciliation and peace to one another.

Father John McLoughlin, C.Ss.R.
Ephrata, Pa.

Download our 2015 Daily Lenten Devotions booklet here.