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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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Lent
Thursday

Lent 2: Thursday after Ash Wednesday

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that to find our true selves, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow him.

Yesterday we began our Lenten observance with a day of fasting and the sign of ashes on our forehead. Today we continue with whatever penance or practice we have chosen to mark this time of Lent. Today’s Scripture readings challenge us always to keep in mind the purpose of the season: to find our true selves and live as God’s beloved people.

In the first reading Moses tells us that to live as God’s beloved people, we must listen to the Lord our God and heed his decrees. In the Gospel Jesus tells us that to find our true selves, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow him.

I cannot turn away from my own selfish interests unless I turn to Jesus in prayer and penance and open my heart to others in charity. Carrying my cross is not just accepting life’s difficulties—it’s seeking to do God’s will in whatever situation I find myself.

O Lord, help me to seek you with all my heart, all my mind, and all my strength, not just in particular practices but in everything I do.

Father Karl Esker, C.Ss.R.
Newark, N.J.

Scripture readings for the day: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalm 1; Luke 9:22-25