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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, March 20, 2011

By Jeff Hedglen
Catholic News Service

March 20, Second Sunday of Lent

Cycle A Readings:

1) Genesis 12:1-4a

Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22

2) 2 Timothy 1:8b-10

Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

It is not very often that you read a line from Scripture and experience deja vu. It happened to me when I read this week's first reading. "The Lord said to Abram: 'Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land that I will show you.'"

The passage vividly recalled for me moving from Michigan to Texas when I was 16 years old. Similar to Abram, I went forth from the land of my kinsfolk and from my childhood house to a land that God showed to my dad.

I was not a happy camper. I left behind all my childhood friends, my first girlfriend, the only neighborhood I ever knew and my dream of graduating from Holt High School.

My first year in Texas was filled with depression and a lot of loneliness. My dad made us attend "one of everything" at our new church, whether we wanted to or not, and that set the course for a huge change in my life.

The move to Texas and my involvement in youth ministry as a teen led me to change career paths. I am now in my 25th year as youth minister in the parish I moved to at age 16. The blessings that have come from that initially hated move simply blow my mind.

Life will throw us many challenges, everything from moves to job changes, college choices to tough friendships, loss of a family member to serious illness, dealing with children to dealing with parents. Each of these challenges is an opportunity for growth and change, and for God to blow our minds.

One way to get through these challenges is to lean on this week's psalm response: "Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you."

Sometimes, after all our efforts are exhausted, the only thing left to do is simply trust and lean on the mercy of God. As hard as this can be, it is important to remember that God's faithfulness can overcome our weariness. In the words of Blessed Mother Teresa, "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that he didn't trust me so much."


What was an experience that you thought you would never make it through, but in looking back, you now see the hand of God? What are some ways we can place our trust in Jesus?


"Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you" (Responsorial Psalm 33:22).


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