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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, March 4, 2012

By Jeff Hensley
Catholic News Service
March 4, Second Sunday of Lent

Cycle B. Readings:

1) Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18

Psalm 116:10, 15-19

2) Romans 8:31b-34

Gospel: Mark 9:2-10

Unlike Abraham, who offered his son Isaac on an altar to God out of obedience with no sense of what this sacrifice of his only son meant, we know that it is a foreshadowing of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

This week's readings speak a great deal about God's faithfulness, with an implied message that we, like Abraham, should not be afraid to offer God anything that may glorify him, help others, bring the Gospel message to others or simply enflesh the Gospel as evidence of God's goodness.

Several years ago, a friend of mine in the Catholic press sacrificed her position as a staff writer for an excellent Catholic newspaper to become a member of the L'Arche community in Clinton, Iowa.

The level of commitment required of Kathy to live in community with a group of developmentally delayed adults in a farm setting, sharing their life to help them prosper as independent individuals, seemed at the time (and still does) to be an example of total self-sacrifice.

Kathy was in a place in her life where she had the freedom to make such a commitment, and she took the plunge.

I can't help but believe that the years she spent in this service will cause her to be blessed throughout eternity.

But just as I can't doubt that God is for Kathy, I also can't doubt that if we each use our time here in service to others, where God has placed us, he will bless us similarly.

As Paul puts it in the much-loved passage from Romans 8 in this week's readings, "If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all. ..."

It's a rhetorical question, of course. God is for us. We must be for others.


How can I demonstrate God's love to my family, in my work and in my service of others?


"I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky" (Genesis 22:17a).


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