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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 9: Chair of St. Peter

Most of us have had a favorite chair through the years. Looking back on my growing-up years in Brooklyn, I remember that “Mom liked to sit here” and “Dad liked to sit there.” That was their chair.

Today the Church celebrates the Chair of St. Peter, a sign of unity, love, and service. This chair does not signify royalty, prestige, preference, or power. Quite the contrary! It signifies service.

The words of St. Peter in today’s first reading call us to be caring and loving, attentive to the needs of all. He could write that because he had learned it from his Savior.

And in today’s Gospel Jesus taught his disciples that if they took the lowest chair at table, they would hear, “My friend, come higher.” Jesus called Peter to a higher chair, the chair of service in the kingdom of God and to all the apostles.

Jesus makes the same call to you and me—the call to service. It’s our great hope and prayer that the Lord Jesus is preparing a chair for you and me in his heavenly kingdom. By our random acts of kind­ness and charity, of gentleness and thoughtfulness here on earth, may we find that chair a perfect fit in the kingdom of Heaven.

Father Denis Sweeney, C.Ss.R.
Bethpage, N.Y.

Scripture readings for today: 1 Peter 5:1-4; Psalm 23; Matthew 16:13-19