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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, Feb. 19, 2012

By Jeff Hedglen
Catholic News Service

February 19, Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle B. Readings:

1) Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25

Psalm 41:2-5, 13-14

2) 2 Corinthians 1:18-22

Gospel: Mark 2:1-12

Everyone who is reading this right now is indebted to someone and in some way owes the very fact that they are reading this to at least one person. Almost no one comes to faith and grows in faith on one's own. We all have been influenced by people who have shared their faith with us, answered our questions about the church or inspired us to seek God. For me the list is long.

Topping the roster are my mom and dad. Though they were not theologians, they did the most important thing: made sure I went to Mass every week. Additionally I noticed that they both did things to grow in faith, my mom reading her Bible at the kitchen table every day and my dad listening to tapes of Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Their examples deeply planted in me a realization that the Catholic faith is not a spectator sport.

Next on the list would be my pastor of 22 years, Father Richard Beaumont. He was a great preacher and teacher, and was passionate about people encountering the living Jesus. Father Beaumont helped me discover that God was not up in heaven watching me from a distance; rather God wanted a relationship with me and dwells within me.

From there my list expands to include friends, family, professors, other priests and religious, parishioners and the youth I served as youth minister for 25 years. I am the Christian I am today because of all of these people. Each one, in his or her own way, brought me to Jesus.

This week's Gospel tells a story of a crippled man who was brought to Jesus by his friends. When they arrived at the house where Jesus was speaking, the crowd was so huge that there was no way to get inside. So the friends lifted the man to the roof, broke it open and lowered him into the arms of Jesus.

Jesus knew what he was doing when he created a church. He knew that we need other people to encounter the faith and grow in it. Whether we are lowered through a roof or invited through the doors, each of us had some help getting into church.


Who are the people who have brought you to Jesus and helped you grow in faith? Who are some people you have "brought to Jesus" and helped grow in faith?


"Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying" (Mark 2:4).


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