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  Word To Life


Sunday Scripture Readings, March 13, 2011

By Jean Denton
Catholic News Service


March 13, First Sunday of Lent

Cycle A Readings:

1) Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7

Psalm 51:3-6, 12-13, 17

2) Romans 5:12-19

Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11

In the early days of our family life, my husband was let go from his job -- two weeks after our third child was born.

It was a stressful time. For three months, he interviewed for several promising positions and finally decided to accept a job with the Fort Worth newspaper. He was pretty excited about it. But, frankly, I was a little disappointed and confided as much to my friend and cousin, Jack.

The other possibilities all offered much higher salaries, I told him.

The downside, I admitted, was that those high-paying jobs were not in my husband's field, nor did they involve work that even interested him. But we'd both been impressed by the pay scale that was beyond anything we'd ever imagined for ourselves.

Still, it appeared he was going to opt for journalism, a pursuit for which he was gifted and for which he'd had a passion since he was in high school.

Fortunately, I only whined to Jack instead of actually revealing my dismay to my husband.

A successful accountant, Jack spoke to me gently. "The problem with those high-paying positions is that once you're in them, you get so used to the money that it's difficult to ever get out," he explained. "Then if you're stuck, doing something you don't believe in, you'll regret it the rest of your life. It's better not even to go into that situation."

His words ended my brief slide into temptation.

Jack's wisdom followed the Gospel for this first Sunday of Lent: entreating us not to abandon our loving Father's care for the transitory promises of this world.

Despite the temptation to seek more money, my husband chose a job he believed to be worthwhile and went on to a long, fulfilling newspaper career -- that, incidentally, wasn't without some lean financial periods.

But we grew. Our marriage grew, our family grew, and we never once had to question whether God was in our lives. My husband chose to be true to who God created him to be: a loving model for his children, a man who wouldn't forsake his fundamental ideals for something of fleeting value, someone who does not live on bread alone but for God's purpose. God was always with us.

QUESTIONS:

What are the promises of the world that most often tempt you? What reminders of God's lasting care and protection help you overcome such temptations?

SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED:

"Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him" (Matthew 4:11).

END



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