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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 2

JesusWhen Jesus says in today’s Gospel, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised,” he is referring to the paschal mystery.

Our religious understanding of the word paschal is connected to the Hebrew word pesah, which means “the passing over.” This, of course, leads us to the story in Exodus (12:13, 23, 27) of the Passover night, when God struck the houses of the Egyptians and left the Israelites untouched.

Mystery refers to divine mysteries that cannot be grasped by mere human reasoning. We need God’s grace to unravel them.

Perhaps Pope John Paul II, in his letter on keeping the Lord’s Day holy, sums it up best: 

The paschal mystery of Christ is the full revelation of the mystery of the world’s origin, the climax of the history of salvation, and the anticipation of the eschatological fulfillment of the world. . . . Its fullest expression [is found] in Christ’s death and resurrection, though its definitive fulfillment will not come until Christ returns in glory (Dies Domini, No. 18). 

Father Kevin MacDonald, C.Ss.R.
New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

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