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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 23

“Evil,” St. Augustine tells us, “is a privation of good.” It does not exist in its own right but is a corruption of creation. There are many kinds of evil—spiritual, mental, physical, and social (to name but a few)—and they all affect us in varying degrees.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus casts out an evil spirit from a man. This spirit kept the man from expressing himself. It oppressed him by preventing him from forming words properly in order to communicate and share his thoughts with others. In doing so, it robbed him of a very important trait of human existence. 

The power to speak, to express one’s innermost thoughts, is a precious gift, one bestowed on us by God. This gift, however, must be exercised with great care since it has the power to build up and to destroy. To be deprived of this gift would be an evil and a great privation; to regain it, a sign of God’s healing power and love. How we use this gift very much depends on us. 

Speak to God today. Listen to him. Thank him. Harden not your heart. Ask him for the wisdom to use this gift wisely. 

Father Dennis J. Billy, C.Ss.R.
Canandaigua, N.Y.

Scripture readings for today: Jeremiah 7:23-28; Psalm 95; Luke 11:14-23