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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 33

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Both Martha and Mary, sisters of the dead Lazarus, say this to Jesus on meeting him. Indeed. It could never have happened if Jesus had been there!

Our first response to another’s death is often, “I can’t believe it!”Neither can we believe that someone we have known and loved is completely and utterly gone. 

So we may console ourselves with their living on in their works, their children, or our memories. But this is not enough and is not what Christian resurrection means. It means we will live and gather again, in our own bodies, in a new and wonderful place. This is our faith.

The only basis for this faith is the word of Jesus Christ and the reality of his death and resurrection, which we celebrate during Holy Week. Our response to Jesus can only be that of Mary, sister of Lazarus, when Jesus asked her, “Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

Father John M. Hamrogue, C.Ss.R.
Bronx, N.Y.

Scripture readings for today: Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45