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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 43

Today’s Gospel focuses on Judas. At the moment of betrayal in the garden, Jesus calls Judas by the affectionate title friend, saying to him, “why have you come?” Perhaps it was a final effort to save Judas.

A catechist once asked children, “Where did Jesus go between his death and resurrection?” After much thought, a 7-year-old boy answered, “I think Jesus went down to the deepest, darkest part of hell to look for his friend Judas.”

Although the Church teaches that hundreds of individuals (the canonized saints) are in heaven, she has never taught that any particular person is in hell: not Judas, not Hitler, not anyone. Judas hanged himself, but he could have repented at the last moment.

As Blessed Francis Seelos observed, “No sinner was ever lost because his sin was too great but because his trust was too small.”

Father James Brennan, C.Ss.R.
Timonium, Md.

Scripture readings for today: Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalm 69; Matthew 26:14-25