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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, Nov. 13, 2011

By Jeff Hensley
Catholic News Service

November 13, Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Cycle A. Readings:

1) Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

Psalm 128:1-5

2) 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30

I know personally the meaning of the words of this week's Scripture from Proverbs: "When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life."

When my wife and I married, she was 20 and I was 21. We'd been going together five years, and, to a certain degree, we knew what we were getting into. But when we married, I was in the middle of a depression that lasted about two years.

She loved me enough, and knew me well enough, to marry me anyway.

Now after nearly 43 years of marriage, I can say that she has continued to pour blessing after blessing into my life.

I see the wisdom and the truth of the Proverbs Scripture again, when the author, after speaking of her productive contributions to the family's economy through her labor, praises the "worthy wife" for reaching out to the poor and needy.

In her first years of teaching, my wife taught remedial reading to children at the poorest middle school in Fort Worth. Then for the next 25 years, she's taught English as a second language to immigrants and refugees from all over the world.

Young people from literally every corner of the globe have benefited from her nurturing and skillful teaching. Now she helps guide other teachers, and she helps make sure students are in the right classes to graduate on time, even after they leave the specialized instruction of the language center.

She's like a physician who doesn't just treat symptoms but takes a personal interest in one's overall health.

She is a godsend to these strangers among us, as they seek to become educated, productive members of our society.

A blessing to me, a blessing to the poor, and a blessing to her friends and fellow teachers, I suspect that if entrusted with five talents, she might have given a return of 11. She didn't bury God's gifts; she used them to his glory and the benefit of others.


How has your husband or wife been a gift of great worth to you? What might you look for, if not married, in a spouse, so that you might both pour goodness into each other's lives?


"Let her works praise her at the city gates" (Proverbs 31:31b).


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