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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, Feb. 6, 2011

By Jeff Hensley
Catholic News Service

February 6, Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Cycle A Readings:

1) Isaiah 58:7-10

Psalm 112:4-9

2) 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16

Phil Record and I became good friends during the last 30 years of his life. But there was a time before I knew him when he appeared to me often to be a raw ball of anger. Seeing him at meetings of the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, I would see him coming, a scowl on his face, and turn on my heel to get out of his path.

So when I saw him at a Life in the Spirit seminar at his home parish several years later, I was surprised to see a pleasant man, apparently filled with the joy that comes from learning just how much Jesus loves us.

Something had changed.

Here was a man who had headed his professional organization, reforming it financially in the process and instigating a redesign of its magazine, a consummate journalist. But now I saw a man who manifested the spirit of Jesus as well, a man who would become one of the people in the newsroom of the local daily to whom individuals would bring their personal and spiritual problems.

He played a similar role as a pillar of strength, wisdom and love in his family and his church, St. Bartholomew, in Fort Worth.

In the Matthew passage for this weekend, Jesus says to his disciples, "You are the salt of the earth.But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? ... You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. ... It is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house."

When Phil died recently, he was in the midst of the lives of his family, his friends and his church. He was salt and light to each of them, and he was living with the vigor of a man 20 years younger.

He was among us, as Paul says in the Corinthians reading, "resolved to know nothing ... except Jesus Christ, and him crucified ... (coming) not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God."


Have you seen people who have been changed dramatically by adult conversion experiences? What can you do to nurture your faith so you can better bear the light of Christ to others?


"You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden" (Matthew 5:14).


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