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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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Lent
Wednesday

Lenten reflection, day 36

In today’s Gospel, Jesus refers to Jews who believe in him, but he later accuses them of trying to kill him. Who are these Jews who believed in Jesus?

From the Acts of the Apostles we learn that “Some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers stood up and said, ‘It is necessary to circumcise them’” (Acts 15:5).

These Pharisaical Christians wanted Gentiles to become Jews before becoming Christians. But St. Paul used strong words against them. “Beware of the dogs! Beware of the evil workers! Beware of the mutilation!” (Philippians 3:2)

Still, salvation is from the Jews (John 4:22). We still call Abraham the father of faith and father of the Chosen People. We are a continuation of God’s Chosen People. As Pope Pius XII wrote, we “are all spiritual Semites.” 

Jesus was a Jew, and we are heirs of the same legacy. His Jewish roots are an important part of our Christian heritage. 

Too often we create Jesus in our own image. We make him into a 21st-century Irish-American or Italian-American. Instead, let’s get in touch with our Jewish heritage.

Father John Murray, C.Ss.R.
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Scripture readings for today: Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95; Daniel 3:52-56; John 8:31-42