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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 27

“O Lord, you brought me up from the nether world; you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.” These words of today’s psalm draw together the beautiful vision of Isaiah and the healing “sign” Jesus performs in the Gospel of John, when he saves the royal official’s son from death. 

This marks the beginning of a powerful momentum that will only increase as we approach Holy Week and Easter. Then we will witness Jesus as he “tramples down death by his death.” It could not be more clear: God chooses and desires life for each of us. 

But do we choose and desire life for ourselves? The days of Lent help us to acknowledge the uncomfortable truth that we sometimes choose death over life. 

How? When we choose lesser rather than greater goods, when we seek to find life apart from God, when we give in to hopelessness, despair, cynicism, resentment, and isolation—all of these are examples of choosing death over life.

Our prayer today might be to hear the Lord in the words of Deuteronomy 30:19-20, in a heartfelt way: “Choose life, then, that you may live, by loving the Lord, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him. For that will mean life for you . . . .” May we say yes to God, who chooses and desires life for us!

Father Philip Dabney, C.Ss.R.

Scripture readings for today: Isaiah 65:17-21; Psalm 30; John 4:43-54