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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 39

Our first reading today points out how God has a plan for his people that includes bringing them together and having an abiding presence with them: “My dwelling shall be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people” (Ezekiel 37:27).

The Gospel presents us with Jesus, God’s loving presence made incarnate yet rejected by the Jewish leaders. The chief priests and Pharisees are more concerned with their own position, authority, and ambition than with recognizing God’s saving presence in their midst. “So from that day on they planned to kill him” (John 11:53).

I pray during this Lenten season for the ability to recognize God’s presence as I see the face of Jesus reflected in those who may not think like me, look like me, speak like me, or act like me—especially those who are less fortunate. It’s my hope to go beyond my comfort zone, leave behind my pride and indifference, and make a difference in their lives—and in mine.

Father Robert Wojtek, C.Ss.R.
Annapolis, Md.

Scripture readings for today: Ezekiel 37:21-28; Jeremiah 31:10-13; John 11:45-56