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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 17

The moving story of Joseph in the first reading today sets the stage for the person of Jesus in the Gospel. Joseph is perhaps the first one to prefigure the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

This beloved son is rejected by his brothers, who want to kill him. After first leaving him to die in a cistern, they eventually sell him into slavery. In the end it is Joseph who will give life to his family, saving them from starvation.

In the Gospel it is Jesus who, after a long line of servants, is the Son sent to the vineyard. As we know, the Son is also rejected and killed. Jesus is the stone rejected by the builders that becomes the cornerstone of our salvation.

But God does not wash his hands of us. Joseph’s brothers do not die in their sins but are saved by their brother, whom God uses as an instrument of redemption. 

Thank you, God, for your loving patience and compassion with me. I know I have rejected you at times and have chosen sin rather than your grace. Help me to be grateful for the life you give me and the opportunities to accept your loving patience and compassion and share them with others. 

Father Robert Wojtek, C.Ss.R.
Annapolis, Md.

Scripture readings for today: Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28; Psalm 105; Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46